The regional collaborative approach achieved by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will contribute to an accelerated and sustainable recovery of the aviation sector, according to ICAO Council president Salvatore Sciacchitano.

    He was speaking at a recently held ministerial meeting on the strengthening of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) and the safety and security oversight systems of the Eastern Caribbean ICAO contracting state, which focused on the authority’s role in assuring regional air transport safety and security performance.

    Collaborative safety and security oversight approaches are critical for many countries in the world today, permitting them to cost-effectively pool their resources and share responsibilities. In the Caribbean, the pandemic and recent tragic eruption on St Vincent has demonstrated the scope of aviation challenges faced by Small Islands States, together with the financial burdens associated with mitigating them.

    This in turn highlights the tremendous need for the effectiveness of regional air transport organisations and multinational entities in delivering affordable and sustainable solutions.

    “ICAO commends the OECS States’ commitment and implementation of the ECCAA as an excellent multi-State solution to achieve alignment with all current global policies, and complementing the ICAO No Country Left Behind goal to improve the effective implementation of ICAO standards and recommended practices,” declared Sciacchitano.

    Collaboration needs commitment

    The collaboration now being forged through the ECCAA will require commitments from each of its six ICAO Member States in assuring the authority’s mission, particularly in terms of the provision of sufficiently resourced national civil aviation authorities. Globally however, when the pandemic is still very much a reality, resourcing has been curtailed in some countries, despite the fact that it is needed now more than ever to ensure continued global connectivity and operations.

    The ICAO president also noted the success of the systemic assistance programme implemented by ICAO’s North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) regional office, which, with the support of larger States, is generating impressive results and “serving as a prime example of regional solidarity and cooperation.”

    Expressing the ICAO Council’s “gratitude for how your States have answered this call,” the president highlighted in conclusion that all ICAO States were strongly encouraged to attend the association’s upcoming high-level conference on Covid-19, where “these complex issues and others will be at the forefront of discussions.”

    Technology to ensure traveller safety

    In other news from the region, Caribbean Airlines customers who download the Ink Mobile App (Tento Wallet) via the Apple App or Google Play Store, can have their Covid-19 test results securely uploaded directly from the labs, for presentation at the airport when checking in.

    The app will act as a digital health passport and Caribbean Airlines will verify test results via the QR code from the Ink Mobile App downloaded on customers’ smartphones, providing a touchless experience for travellers.

    In March, Caribbean Airlines announced that it would be rolling out a health-focused border control solution from Ink Aviation to give governments across its network confidence that air travel can resume safely.