Providing in-country safety and security services to support Pacific Member States’ aviation compliance as regional travel restarts is the strategic focus of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) for 2022.
The PASO Council of Directors also recognised the importance of continued regional collaboration and coordination via PASO at their virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, 11 May 2022.
Demonstrating collective support for PASO and regional aviation collaboration, all 13 Members of the PASO Council attended the AGM with representation from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The AGM also considered PASO’s performance and endorsed PASO’s annual financial audit and annual report, new corporate processes and policies, and organisational progress against key performance indicators.
PASO Council elections
The PASO Council unanimously chose to maintain existing Council office bearers with Member State Samoa re-elected to Chair the PASO Council. Mr. Magele Hoe J. Viali, is the main representative for Samoa on the PASO Council of Directors.
Niue was re-elected as Deputy Chair of the PASO Council and Chair of the Operations Sub Committee with Mr. Bill MacGregor, Director of Niue Civil Aviation remaining in this role.
The Cook Islands was re-elected as the Deputy Chair of the PASO Council and Chair of the Corporate Sub Committee with Mr. John Hosking, Secretary of Transport for the Cook Islands Ministry of Transport continuing.
“It is gratifying to see strong engagement and participation from all our membership at our Annual General Meeting, which indicates a strong interest in working together to elevate aviation matters regionally and internationally,” said the PASO Council Chair, Mr. Magele Hoe J. Viali.
“Prudent fiscal management and the continued financial support from our Members, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, and the World Bank, means PASO has increased technical capacity and resourcing to support our Members with their international aviation obligations.”
The PASO Council endorsed the 2023 PASO Hosting Agreement for formal submission to the Government of Vanuatu, with appreciation conveyed for the continued hosting of PASO’s headquarters in Port Vila.
PASO’s operational performance
The PASO Council noted an operational record for PASO’s service delivery with a total of 683 audit workdays completed in 2021 on behalf of Member States, compared to 239 audit workdays in 2020 and 519 audit workdays in 2019.
“As we re-open our borders around the Pacific, the critical importance of aviation safety and security compliance as a positive enabler of air connectivity and a catalyst for our economic recovery cannot be overstated,” said Mr. Viali.
The PASO Council noted the organisations’ plans to progress operational systems and deliver an increased program of in-country auditing and inspections between PASO Inspectors and Member States’ civil aviation counterparts.
“We are excited to return to in-country operations and planning to get every one of our Inspectors into Member States over the next 12 months,” said PASO’s General Manager, Mr. Andrew Valentine.
“Through the pandemic, PASO has been able to ensure effective regulatory aviation safety and security outcomes for our Members. This has been primarily delivered through our offsite safety policy and procedures approach which has served the region well.”
The PASO Council supported increased training and development activities starting with an online governance training program for the PASO Council and pursuing opportunities to increase Pacific Islanders’ aviation inspector capacity.
“Training and development is a key pillar of the Pacific framework of aviation endorsed at last year’s Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting (RAMM1) and something dear to our heart,” said Mr. Viali.
“The PASO Council supports advancing and investing in holistic capacity building for the long-term development of our people by building career pathways in all areas of aviation.”
The Council noted PASO’s effective regional engagement as secretariat for the next Regional Aviation Minister Meeting (RAMM2) which is being virtually hosted by the Government of the Cook Islands in June to progress the Port Moresby Declaration on Aviation Safety and Security.
In 2022 PASO will also participate in regional and international forums to elevate and progress Pacific aviation matters including at the next Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting, and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s 57th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation for the Asia Pacific Regions in Korea in early July.
“In the next 12 to 18 months PASO plans to embed all the positive organisational initiatives of the last two years, and progress new opportunities to strengthen aviation in our region,” concluded Mr. Valentine.
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