Victims helping victims

Second Safer Skies Forum

Second Safer Skies Forum

The Second Safer Skies Forum was held virtually by Transport Canada and the Safer Skies Consultative Committee on March 29-30, 2022. The forum is a key part of the Government of Canada’s Safer Skies Initiative, first announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2020 to improve the safety of air travel worldwide.

Such experience is the only international event dedicated to mitigating the risks of airspace over or near conflict zones. It brought together 365 expert partners representing over 55 countries and regions around the world, as well as international organizations, and the civil aviation industry.

The forum aimed to share best practices to improve international efforts in keeping passengers safe, enable information sharing and collaboration between parties on current issues in global aviation and the way forward and advocate for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to safeguarding airspace in or near conflict zones. It was announced that Canada will be collaborating with international partners to draft a Working Paper on initiatives to improve conflict zone risk mitigation practices around the globe. The Netherlands and Canada intend to co-host the next Safer Skies Forum in the Netherlands in 2023.

ACVFFI in Second Safer Skies Forum

Transpor Canada invited ACVFFI to share our point of view in a video accessible on the main page of the online Forum Platform throughout the event. The presentation was highlighted by Minister Alghabra Canadian Minister of Transport in his opening keynote address.

Pilar Vera, President of ACVFFI, reviewed the milestones of victim assistance at the international level, emphasizing the role of victims as a driver of change and awareness of the international civil aviation community.

“Victim assistance must be respectful, empathetic, dignified and efficient with those affected. An independent investigation, focused on the search for the real causes of the air crash, is essential to avoid further accidents due to similar causes.”

Pilar Vera, ACVFFI Chair

In addition, Ms. Vera made a brief review of the working papers and initiatives carried out by the Federation since 2015 until the present day.

“The leap that has taken place in victim assistance in ICAO from 2010 to today has been abysmal. We have gone from not being able to enter some offices to having credibility and having the respect of the international community.”

Pilar Vera, ACVFFI Chair

Finally, he thanked the Government of Canada for the creation of this Forum, highlighting the importance of these initiatives.

“As chairperson of ACVFFI I convey to you all our hope that the Declaration to be signed at this Second Forum will serve to encourage States to work faster in reaching an agreement that commits us all to the safety of people and crews, that should be the most important thing in commercial aviation.”

Pilar Vera, ACVFFI Chair

In the speech of Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, expressed condolences for the loss of China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735. In addition, he condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed support for Ukraine, acknowledging the actions of states who closed their airspace to Russia. He discussed the tragedies of Flights MH17 and PS752, emphasizing the ongoing pain felt by Canadians and the need for answers and justice for the victims’ families.

He stressed the responsibility of the civil aviation community to make skies safer and prevent such disasters. Furthermore, he advocated for improvements to ICAO’s air accident investigation framework, particularly in scenarios where the State of Occurrence participated in or caused the downing of a civilian aircraft.

He highlighted the recent declaration of February 20 as the International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and Their Families by ICAO and the Air Crash Victims’ Families’ Federation International and invited all participants to see the ACVFFI’s presentation in website of Forum.

A final Report was issued, for more information use next link:

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