Bombardier collaborates in building the future of aviation
From September 24 to October 4, more than 2,600 delegates from all parts of the world gathered in Montreal to attend the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Triennial Assembly. Many organizations were also represented at this important event, including Bombardier.
We met with Leo Knaapen, Chief, Industry Affairs at Bombardier Aviation, who is also Bombardier’s liaison for ICAO, to learn more about ICAO and the significant value it brings to Bombardier.
What is ICAO and what is its role?
ICAO is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Since 1944, this United Nations specialized agency is responsible, through its 193 member States, for setting and maintaining international standards for civil aviation in five strategic areas: safety, environmental protection, security and facilitation, as well as economic development. These standards are then adopted and applied as regulations by civil aviation authorities worldwide including, for instance, the FAA, EASA and TCCA.
Over the years, ICAO has really shaped aviation as we know it today.
More than 10,000 standards currently exist in 19 ICAO Annexes to regulate international civil aviation, covering many topics, including noise levels, airport security and numerous others. Every three years, ICAO holds its Triennial Assembly, where Member States, NGOs, as well as industry associations come together to establish global aviation policy, via consensus, for the coming three-year period
How is Bombardier involved in ICAO?
Bombardier is a member of several industry working groups, where our technical experts work alongside our peers to either propose new standards or to amend current standards and recommended practices, which we call SARPs.
We also work regularly with several key ICAO Member States who have a permanent delegation at ICAO. These include Canada, Mexico, Morocco, United Kingdom and the United States -- those countries where Bombardier Aviation designs and builds aircraft -- in addition to China, Germany and Singapore where we have growing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations.
Can you give us an example of an area where Bombardier is involved?
One great example of Bombardier’s involvement at ICAO is our longtime leadership in the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, or CAEP, where a team of Bombardier experts is engaged either as representatives, or as alternate representatives, to actively guide and assist in shaping and establishing environmental standards addressing noise, emissions, sustainable alternative fuels and market based measures as well as supporting database development via fleet modelling and forecasting. We have a great team that does phenomenal work!
Why is our work at ICAO important and of value to us?
ICAO shapes the future of aviation. Having this opportunity to develop standards before they become regulations is both highly efficient and unique to Bombardier: efficient because it means we work with one entity rather than having to deal with multiple regulators on the same subject later on; unique because we have home field advantage. Our competitors are not based here in Montreal – but we are.
Another example, perhaps more tangible, is how we recently worked with ICAO to amend the standards for reinforced cockpit doors. Previously, the ICAO standard -- which was applied as a regulation throughout much of the world -- specified that a cockpit door was required in any aircraft weighing more than 100,000 pounds maximum takeoff weight being used for commercial purposes. This would have had impacted our Global 7500 customers flying either charter or fractional ownership service. Long story short -- we managed to amend this standard and remove this requirement; so now our customers don’t need to worry about having a cockpit door. Superb team effort -- mission accomplished!