Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting

The virtual Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting on Wednesday, 30 June resulted in Pacific Forum Member States committing to the Port Moresby Declaration on Aviation Safety and Security to progress important Pacific regional aviation matters through a new enhanced collaboration framework.

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What is the RAMM?

The Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting (RAMM) was a strategic opportunity for Forum Island Member States to discuss the wide-ranging aviation needs of the region to ensure there is a safe, sustainable and enhanced aviation environment for the Pacific.

The RAMM focused on strengthening aviation safety and security compliance through enhancing current institutional arrangements and establishing a long-term shared vision for the region.

What did the RAMM achieve?

The RAMM resulted in Pacific Forum Member States endorsing the Port Moresby Declaration on Aviation Safety and Security.

The Port Moresby Declaration provides a range of strategic priorities and actions to respond to the critical challenges regarding aviation safety and security performance facing Forum Members, who have been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Minister, the Honourable Sekie Agisa.

Who hosted the RAMM?

The Papua New Guinea government hosted the RAMM virtually on Wednesday, 30 June from 9am to 12.10pm Port Moresby time.

The meeting was chaired by the Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Minister, the Honourable Sekie Agisa.

The PNG National RAMM Taskforce coordinated the RAMM arrangements on behalf of the Pacific region with support from the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO).

Who attended the RAMM?

Ministers responsible for civil aviation and senior aviation officials from 14 Pacific Island States convened virtually for the RAMM.

The Ministerial Meeting was the first such high-level regional aviation meeting since the initiation of the Pacific Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (PICASST) in 2004.

Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu attended the RAMM.

Additionally, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretary General from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and senior officials from CROP agencies including the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), PAcific Islands Development Program (PIDP) and South Pacific Community (SPC).

The meeting was also attended by government officials from the United States of America and Singapore, as well as officials from the World Bank and the Airlines of the South Pacific Association. Media were invited to the opening remarks.

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Who made opening remarks:

The RAMM was officially opened by the Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Minister, the Honourable Sekie Agisa.

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Henry Puna official remarks are here.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Secretary General official remarks are here.

What was discussed at the RAMM?

The RAMM was a unique opportunity to progress regional collaboration and solutions, and organise political support around harmonisation and cooperation for Pacific regional aviation safety, security and recovery. This Ministerial meeting was an opportunity to reset the strategic landscape in our Blue Pacific region for air connectivity and economic recovery.

The RAMM considered a range of strategic topics including:

  • The importance of aviation regionally for social and economic activity
  • The impact of COVID-19 and economic recovery objectives through aviation connectivity
  • A framework for enhanced Pacific regional aviation collaboration
  • Development of a Pacific Regional Aviation Strategy
  • Amending the Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (PICASST)
  • Strengthening and funding regional aviation institutional arrangements
  • Future Ministerial meetings and engagements.

When is the next RAMM?

Pacific Aviation Ministers agreed to the Cooks Islands hosting the next RAMM in 2022, before the next ICAO Assembly.

The next RAMM will monitor progress and consider the amended PICASST, Regional Pacific Aviation Strategy, and sustainable funding arrangements to support enhanced regional collaboration and a strengthened multi-functional regional aviation organisation.

How did the RAMM eventuate?

In 2018, the Pacific Aviation Safety Office’s (PASO) Council of Directors endorsed PASO to work with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) to establish a regional meeting of Aviation Ministers to identify collaborative and unified approaches that could benefit the region.

At the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu in August 2019, Leaders endorsed the convening of a RAMM and scheduled it for March 2020 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

In December 2019, the PASO Council started work to review initial RAMM papers and committed to the inclusion of all Pacific Island Forum Members at the RAMM (as this is broader than current PASO membership). At subsequent PASO Council meetings, the Council has continued to work to progressing the RAMM.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the September 2020 PASO Council  Meeting recommended holding a virtual Regional Aviation Ministers’ Meeting (RAMM) in early 2021.

To progress RAMM arrangements, senior Pacific aviation officials have been meeting virtually in 2021 with the support of invited CROP agencies (PIFS, PASO, and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), ICAO, and key industry stakeholders.

In March 2021, the 3rd Special Aviation Officials Meeting rescheduled the RAMM from April to June 2021, primarily due to the escalating COVID-19 situation in Papua New Guinea.

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What is PASO’s role in the RAMM?

PASO is the sole international organisation providing quality aviation safety and security service for Member States in the Pacific.

PASO is responsible for regional regulatory aviation safety oversight service for the 10 Pacific States who are signatories to the Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (PICASST).

The current PICASST signatories are the Pacific nations of Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Associate Members of PASO are Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. Government representatives from these nations make up the PASO Council.

PASO’s involvement in the RAMM process is to act as the Secretariat and provide support to the PNG government as required.

PASO is working cooperatively with senior Pacific aviation officials from all Pacific Island Forum States, Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP agencies), international aviation partners including the ICAO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and key industry stakeholders to realise the RAMM.

Last Updated on July 14, 2021