International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Airports Council International (ACI) have signed an agreement to improve the certification of aerodromes to international standards.

The agreement includes the launch of the Aerodrome Certification Implementation Package (iPack) of materials for regulators and airport operators. The iPack includes documentation, tools and an online training course to facilitate each recipient’s aerodrome certification goals. A dedicated subject matter expert will also work with civil aviation authorities and airport operators to provide guidance.

ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar, who signed the agreement alongside Director General of ACI World Luis Felipe de Oliveira in Montreal on 27 July, commented, “ICAO has developed this iPack in partnership with Airports Council International to aid State Civil Aviation Authorities and airport operators in addressing the technical challenges related to the development and implementation of an aerodrome certification programme.

“Certification of aerodromes by governments in accordance with ICAO standards is key to assuring the safe development of international air services, and accordingly to States ability to access the sustainable development benefits of connectivity to the global flight network.”

Airport Excellence Programme

The iPack will also provide airport operators with a peer review of its facilities under the auspices of the ACI Airport Excellence (APEX) Programme. Based on ICAO standards, national regulations, and ACI best practices, the APEX Programme combines the mandate for regulatory compliance with day-to-day operational needs to maximize operational efficiency and implementation of safety and security standards.

The aerodrome’s physical environment, visual aids and other infrastructure, its operational procedures and safety management system, its manual and related documentation, and the aerodrome’s compliance with the regulatory requirements for the issuance of the certificate are among the priorities encompassed by this initiative.

De Oliveira concluded, “The iPack will help our member airports in the aerodrome certification process through access to training and technical assistance – including the perennial ACI-ICAO APEX programme. We are proud to be one of the first external organizations to partner with ICAO to deliver an iPack. The benefits of the resource will extend beyond airports to aid States and the wider aviation ecosystem in their sustainable growth as we continue to serve air travellers and communities the world over.”

Image (L-R): ​ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar and the Director General of ACI World Luis Felipe de Oliveira