Is regulation keeping up with the pace of growth and innovation in the region?

Teri BristolTeri Bristol, FAA From all accounts, the Middle East regulators see aviation as the engine driving the Middle East States’ economies and have been very supportive to airlines and the industry as a whole. Yet it is important that regulators keep pace with the growth to ensure they can perform proper oversight and maintain competent and fully staffed safety organisations. Here at the FAA, we meet regularly with our regulator and involve them early in the process of any changes to airspace, systems or procedures. In this way, they know what is coming and can address changes as quickly as possible.

Abdul Wahab Teffaha, AACO This varies between States and even between regulatory areas (safety, security, air traffic operations, etc). We believe that some States are doing an exceptional job on the regulatory front. As a general rule, providing Civil Aviation Authorities with independence will very much improve their ability to interact in timely fashion with this dynamic sector and hence play their regulatory role more effectively and efficiently.

Mohamed KhonjiMohamed Khonji, ICAO ICAO, in cooperation with the industry and other stakeholders, is constantly developing or amending global Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) to keep up with the pace of growth and innovation in civil aviation. More recently we have also been developing specific implementation kits, or ‘iKits’, for States and industry, wherever and whenever a new SARP or guidance development can be assisted by the consolidation of all related ICAO materials and resources for end-users.
And when issues considered more urgent arise, for instance flight tracking and conflict zones as was the case during 2014, we have rapidly convened task forces and determined practical solutions to further augment the levels of safety and efficiency for which our sector is so globally-renowned.
The process of effectively implementing ICAO SARPs, to the benefit of State regulatory frameworks and the aviation operations they proscribe, is still a challenge for many States, however the refocusing of ICAO’s efforts onto assistance and capacity building under the No Country Left behind (NCLB) initiative will help to more effectively address this in the coming months and years. Additionally a progressive move towards performance based ICAO SARPs allows innovators flexibility within the bounds of those SARPs as to how they ensure compliance with them.

Peter Mohring, SERCO The ME is some way off separation of regulation from service provision across the board. This and increased government funding will help each sector to mature and develop in line with industry best practices.

Jeff PooleJeff Poole, CANSO The approach to regulation in the region is too prescriptive and CANSO would like to see a new performance-based approach to regulation. The industry is working hard to achieve safe, efficient and harmonised airspace. But we can only go so far before we come up against political, regulatory and governance constraints that only States can address.
The industry is often faced with prescriptive, inefficient and conflicting regulations that add cost and undermine the ability to innovate and perform effectively. CANSO is calling for regulatory approaches that emphasise what must actually be achieved, focusing on agreed, measurable outcomes and placing more of the responsibility and accountability with the service provider in how the performance requirements will be met. In addition, most ANSPs in the region are owned and operated by the government bodies that regulate them.
This can create conflicts of interest and hinder the implementation of performance-driven air navigation services. CANSO believes that the same organisation having responsibility for both regulation and service provision of ATM acts as a constraint. Proper separation between regulation and service provision has the clear potential to unlock value, enabling ANSPs to concentrate on the delivery of efficient, cost-effective and customer-oriented air navigation services.

Hicham BennaniHicham Bennani, ACAC In my opinion the regulation aspect does not represent the main challenges facing the region. There has already been a lot of improvement in this area, according to the USOAP/ CMA score registered. That said, the harmonisation of regulation and procedures throughout the region will certainly help in meeting the challenges of the traffic growth.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed, BCAA The large variation in regulatory maturity among States means that, for the most part, this inconsistency is reflected in the respective regulations of each participating State. Therefore the region cannot yet move forward at a collective pace in regards to regulations.

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