Victims helping victims

FAL2024 event

FAL2024 event

The ICAO Facilitation Global Summit 2024 (FAL2024), organized by the Government of Saudi Arabia, took place in Riyadh on May 21 and 22, 2024. The event focused on facilitation areas related to Annex 9 of the International Civil Aviation Convention, which celebrates its 75th anniversary. The goal is to enhance the passenger experience through the effective implementation of Annex 9 provisions and discuss public health risk management in aviation.

Assistance to victims of air accidents and their families: Emergency Plans.

Pilar Vera was a speaker at the Interactive Workshop on “Assistance to victims of air accidents and their families: Emergency Plans. An overview of current ICAO initiatives and related material was presented, as well as experience in implementing Annex 9.

This discussion was conducted from the perspective of States implementing these measures, supervisory authorities, and aircraft and airport operators. Specific details of the training program were delved into, discussing the need for practical training and exercises. Through the exchange of case studies and experience, areas for improvement of international standards were identified.

The panel was composed of:

  • Moderator: Mr. Ángel-Luis Arias, Representative of Spain on the ICAO Council.
  • Speakers:
    • Mr. Laurent Pic, Representative of France on the ICAO Council
    • Ms. Diantha Raadgers, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management Directorate General of Transport and Aviation Aviation Safety and Security Unit, Kingdom of the Netherlands
    • Ms. Pilar Vera, Chair of FIVAAF and President of AVJK5022.

Presentation by Pilar Vera.

Pilar Vera’s speech focused on the idea that assistance to victims and their families is a shared responsibility that requires the ongoing commitment of all involved actors. Her moving and enlightening speech focused on the importance of emergency planning and ongoing support to families affected by air tragedies. She highlighted the need for transparent and compassionate communication with families, as well as the implementation of policies that ensure truth, justice, reparation, and memory for the victims.

Below you can see a brief summary of her presentation:

History and Progress. Doc 9998: ICAO Policy on Assistance to Victims of Air Accidents and their Families, which has evolved from Circular 285 in 2001 to its approval in 2013. Doc 9973: ICAO Manual for Assistance to Victims of Air Accidents and their Families, essential for the development of specific emergency plans.

The Importance of Emergency Plans. Emergency plans are crucial for coordinating resources at the national and international level, ensuring the effectiveness of assistance in critical moments. The inclusion of victim assistance in Annex 9 of the FACILITATION in 2014 marked a significant advance.

The Role of Victim Associations. Victim associations, like the ACVFFI, play a vital role in uniting associations, families, and victims worldwide, sharing lessons to influence civil aviation practices. The ACVFFI works to establish approved standards for Member States in organizations such as the European Union, ICAO, and the UN.

ACVFFI Milestones at ICAO

  • 2015: Foundation of the ACVFFI in Madrid, Spain.
  • 2016: Recognition of the ACVFFI as an International Organization at ICAO.
  • 2022: Entry into force of Standard 8.47 of Annex 9.

Objectives and Actions. The ACVFFI seeks the implementation of Doc 9998, the improvement of EFOD – USOAP data, and the promotion of the voice of victims in decision-making centers

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