IAOPA Press Releases

ICAO Military/Civilian Airspace Conference

IAOPA recently participated in a Global Air Traffic Management Forum on Civil/military Cooperation, the first of its kind at ICAO, More than 450 State regulators and military representatives, air navigation service providers, and associations participated, delivering more than 50 presentations.

Frank Hofmann, IAOPA Representative to ICAO, provided a formal presentation in theĀ  “Understanding each Other” segment emphasizing that general aviation VFR airspace is restricted by not only by special use airspace, but also by weather, increasingly taller obstacles, and other closely-controlled airspace. Further, airspace NOTAMs regarding military airspace activity are often ineffective due to their untimely nature and use of obscure language and navigational information. Increasing airspace restrictions create complexities that place great demands on the VFR pilot’s workload.  Also emphasized was the importance of general aviation activity at smaller airports as a training ground for pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers. The audience, especially the military, apparently understood the dangers presented by restricted areas for general aviation operators.

The conference decided that the essential elements of future cooperation included peace and stability, mutual trust, confidence and respect on both sides, safety, security and efficiency as common values, a recognition that efficiency means different things to military than to civilians, good communications, cooperation at all levels, and a global approach to dealing with incidents.

Various organizations and States stated that cooperation has already reached a healthy level in certain areas. Environmental concerns, as well as economic ones, will drive the increased cooperation and best practices guidance. Importantly, the conference concluded that ICAO is the proper organization to pull military and civilian airspace interests together, something Hofmann advocated in his presentation.

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