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EghtesadOnline: Plans are underway to update and implement new rules and regulations regarding different aspects of Iranian airports, based on the European Aviation Safety Agency's protocols.

Speaking to Financial Tribune, Director of Air Navigation Systems and Aerodromes with the Iran Civil Aviation Organization explained that the new rules generally fall within three main categories: design, construction and operations of airports.

Mohammad Saeed Sharafi also said that the new EASA rules on aerodromes have been studied for a year before they were communicated to airports across the country about two weeks ago.

“The new rules, in essence, develop a ‘new approach’ compared to old ones,” Sharafi said, adding that the previous rules only concerned outputs and results, and did not matter how the results were achieved. 

For instance, airports were previously asked to have a runway of a certain size, but how it was built was not important. But the new rules now target processes and how outcomes are obtained as well. 

Designing documents are now analyzed and qualifications of those in charge of construction and designing are assessed. All specifications and details are now carefully screened, besides results and outcomes.

> Based on Chicago Convention

According to Sharafi, Iran Civil Aviation Organization is in charge of establishing rules, undertaking supervision and making plans for the development of aviation industry, including airports, aviation companies, personnel and training institutions. 

He added that the aviation rules and regulations being considered are based on the Chicago Convention.

The Convention on International Civil Aviation was established to promote cooperation and create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world. It establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. It was signed on December 7, 1944, by 52 states. Pending ratification of the convention by 26 states, the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization was established. It functioned from June 6, 1945, until April 4, 1947. 

Known more commonly today as Chicago Convention, this landmark agreement established the core principles permitting international transport by air. By March 5, 1947, the 26th ratification was received. 

The International Civil Aviation Organization came into being on April 4, 1947, to organize and support intensive international cooperation that the fledgling global air transport network would require. 

In October of the same year, ICAO became a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to Economic and Social Council. The convention has since been revised eight times (in 1959, 1963, 1969, 1975, 1980, 1997, 2000 and 2006).

As of November 2017, the Chicago Convention had 192 state parties, which includes all member states of the United Nations, except for Dominica and Liechtenstein. 

“Iran was among the first countries to become a member of ICAO during the 1940s,” Sharafi said.

He noted that the convention is supported by 19 annexes containing standards and recommended practices (SARPs), each targeting a certain aspect of aviation.

There are different departments and offices at Iran Civil Aviation Organization, each responsible for applying the relevant SARP in the 19 annexes supporting the Chicago Convention.

According to Sharafi, Annex 14 (Aerodromes) of the convention stipulates that Iran Civil Aviation Organization should take care of two issues: designing and construction of airports, and airport operations.

> Why EASA? 

Speaking of the reasons behind selecting EASA standards, Sharafi said the European aviation regulations are among the most comprehensive ones in the world, adding that unlike the previously result-oriented rules, the new ones also take into account processes, infrastructures and structures. 

"According to our research, aside from European countries, 70-75% of other countries are using EASA standards and regulations," he said.

The European Aviation Safety Agency is responsible for civil aviation safety. It carries out certification, regulation and standardization, and also performs investigation and monitoring. 

The agency also collects and analyses safety data, drafts and advices on safety legislation, and coordinates with similar organizations in other parts of the world.

> Implementation Timetable

As per the timetable, airports throughout the country are expected to implement the new aerodromes or ADR (Annex 14) rules based on EASA standards.

Airports whose aerodromes certifications have expired are expected to implement the new rules as of April 1, 2019. 

For international airports, the date has been set at July 1, 2019, for domestic airports opened for international charter as of July 1, 2020, and for domestic airports as of July 1, 2021.

Sharafi believes the success of this change of approach depends on the proper implementation of the new rules. 

“Keeping up with the updates of EASA as well as ICAO regulations is of high importance, as their rules are updated on the basis of latest global developments,” he concluded.


Iran airports European Standards Aviation Safety Agency's protocols