Establishment of the Organization
The Arab Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized Arab organization affiliated to the Arab League which aims to strengthen cooperation and coordination among Arab countries in the field of civil aviation and its development. It was established on February 7, 1996, when its Agreement came into force, and its first General Assembly was held on the 5th June. 1996. 22 States have ratified the Convention.
The organization ´ s goals
The objectives and goals of the Organization are to provide the civil aviation authorities of the Member States with a framework for joint action to:
· Implement a general plan for civil aviation among Arab countries in order to develop and secure its safety.
· To promote the necessary cooperation and coordination among Member States in the field of civil aviation and to lay the foundations for this in a uniform approach.
· To develop and advance Arab civil aviation in a manner that responds to the needs of the Arab nation for a safe, secure and orderly air transport.
Terms of reference
The Organization shall perform all the necessary functions to carry out its purposes and objectives, in particular:
· Conduct research and prepare studies, as appropriate, on the economic, regulatory, legal, and technical and security aspects of civil aviation among Member States
· Coordinate the positions of Member States on matters of common interest and concern in aviation
· Support the integration of Arab air transport institutions.
· To encourage and support the aviation industry in general and to promote its use in Member States
· Monitor changes, including technical changes, in civil aviation and determine Member States´ requirements to respond to important challenges.
· Encourage coordination and harmonization between the legislation and procedures of civil aviation in Member States and work towards unifying these legislations and procedures.
· Promote the application of ICAO´s standards and recommended practices.
· Strengthen arrangements among Member States as long as they contribute to the implementation of ICAO regional plans for air navigation equipments and services.
· Facilitate the exchange of information on aviation safety and the promotion of security awareness among Member States.
· Coordinate with regard to training and training programs, while encouraging the implementation of programs to develop training institutes, and their capacity to address current and future needs of civil aviation professionals.
· To study any situation that would be an obstacle to the progress of air transport and air navigation in the Arab countries at the request of any Member State and recommend what it deems appropriate.
The organization´s Structure
The structure of the organization includes a general assembly, an executive council, a general directorate and five committees composed of specialized experts representing member states (the Environment Committee, the Air Transport Committee, the Air Navigation Commission, the Air Safety standards Committee and the Aviation Security Committee) in addition to the Financial oversight committee.
The General Assembly shall consist of the presidents and directors-generals of civil aviation in the Arab Member States, which shall meet every two years to adopt the plans, programs and the budget of the Organization.
The General Directorate is the administrative body of the Organization, headed by a Director-General elected by the General Assembly for a term of four years, renewable once. The role of the Director-General is to implement the recommendations and resolutions of the General Assembly and the Executive Council and to prepare the Organization´s projects and activities.
The Executive Board is composed of nine members elected by the General Assembly among the heads or general managers of civil aviation every two years.. The Board meets twice a year. Its role is to study the problems of civil aviation in the Arab countries to work on the development of this sector, and to propose the programs and budget of the Organization as well as the implementation of General Assembly resolutions.
The committees of the Organization: the Air Transport Committee, the Environment Committee, the Aviation Security Committee, the Air Navigation Commission and the Safety Committee prepare the work of the Organization and its projects and discuss the topics that are referred to it. Each committee consists of 9 specialized experts representing Member States. Each committee meets at least twice a year. These committees can establish subcommittees or task forces to accomplish their work.
Member States of the Organization
Twenty-two Member States:
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Tunisia, People´s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Republic of Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of Somalia, Republic of Iraq, Sultanate of Oman, State of Palestine, State of Qatar, Republic of the Comoros, State Kuwait, the Republic of Lebanon, the State of Libya, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Republic of Yemen.
Arab and international coordination and cooperation
1. Constituents dealing with the Organization:
International Civil Aviation Organization.
Arab Air Transport Association.
African Civil Aviation Commission.
Latin American Civil Aviation Commission.
European Civil Aviation Conference.
Queen Noor College of Civil Aviation, Jordan.
Qatar Aviation Science College.
Singapore Aviation Academy.
International Air Transport Association
Airport Council International.
National Airport Authority - Mohammed VI Aviation Academy
Arab Standing Committee for Meteorology.
Arab Organization for an earth monitoring satellite system (Arab Sat)
Civil Aviation Authorities of Friendly States.
2. Special relationship between ACAO and ICAO:
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized United Nations organization that plays a leading role in civil aviation. Its decisions and recommendations constitute the general guidance for all Contracting States as well as regional organizations and bodies specialized in the field of civil aviation. ACAO has a strong relationship with ICAO, whereby the Organization adopts and follows up the implementation of the International Organization´s Standards and Recommended Practices. The culmination of this relationship was the signature of a cooperation agreement between ACAO and ICAO in 1999.
The organization strives to comply with all ICAO decisions, which enhanced its credibility and role in the international aviation industry forums. The organization contributes effectively to all the meetings and conferences organized by ICAO. Its impressive efforts have turned ACAO into a strong contributor in drafting the resolutions adopted during those meetings where the Arab Group introduced a specific proposal or demand.
3. Cooperation with the Arab League:
The Organization shall abide by the decisions of Council of Arab Ministers of Transport according to the Agreement on its Establishment .It shall submit a periodic report on its activities. It is also committed to the decisions of the Economic and Social Council, and provides periodic memoranda during its meetings, as well as the Committee of organizations for coordination and follow-up purposes, and the High Coordination Committee for joint Arab action. The organization also attends the meetings of the Council of the League and the Summit by invitation of the General Secretariat of the League. It coordinates its work with the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States and other organizations. In this context, the ACAC is committed to presenting its draft plans, programs and budget to the Organization´s Committee for coordination and follow-up and to the Economic and Social Council in view of its approval.
4. The Organization´s contribution to promoting the integration of air transport institutions (cooperation with the Arab Air Carriers Organization):
One of the most important concerns of the Organization since its establishment is to create the right framework for assisting airlines consolidate their forces, coordinate their positions and unify their plans and programs, hoping to achieve integration in the various components of the Arab civil aviation sector. Thus, the organization worked to strengthen cooperation with the Arab Air Carriers Organization through the establishment of a unified Arab air transport policy and its restructuring, easing restrictions on air freedoms, intensifying flights between Arab countries and encouraging Arab carriers to cooperate in the areas of spare parts exchange, aircraft maintenance, computer reservation systems, code sharing and marketing alliances. Other steps have been taken as a platform for cooperation and integration in the development of air corridors in the Arab airspace, cooperation in search and rescue, improvement of air navigation services towards the implementation of the air navigation system through satellite and the expansion of cooperation to include safety services as well as the harmonization of civil aviation regulations and laws in the Arab States.