One of the important parts of the ICAO discussions has been the inclusion of the world's governments. Most of the work at a political and technical level has been taking place in the ICAO Council - a permanently standing body of 36 country representatives at ICAO - and at the technical working group known as CAEP. Not all governments can take part in these groups, so over the last few weeks, ICAO has been reaching out to all other governments through a series of Global Aviation Dialogues.
These are taking place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Denpasar (Indonesia), Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Mexico City. They are a way of explaining the current proposed measure on the table in the negotiations, for countries to ask questions and also provide their feedback. For a lot of countries, this is a very new topic so there needs to be education on how it will work. A number of our industry colleagues have been taking part in the Dialogues to help support the process and ensure governments are aware of the details of the scheme.
We have also organised our own industry regional outreach - with roundtables over the past year in Beijing, Lagos, Nairobi, Geneva, Mendoza (Argentina), Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Amman, Kuala Lumpur and Delhi - helping to further spread the understanding for our industry colleagues at airlines around the world.
Generally, we have found that a lot of governments understand the need for the development of the scheme, but are unsure about the technical and administrative actions that they will need to take to implement the global offsetting scheme (see our infographic highlighting how a global offsetting scheme would work).
What is clear to us is that, once an agreement is reached at the ICAO Assembly this year, there will need to be a lot of technical assistance and education for both airlines and governments to operationalise the scheme before 2020. Of course, once the scheme is in place and the guidance and checklists are all developed, this will be fairly easy for the sector to work with.