ICAO Document Update

Image of ICAO Doc 9859ICAO Document 9859 Safety Management Manual 4th Edition

ICAO has further developed the Safety Management section of its website. This now includes an electronic advanced unedited version of Document 9859 4th Edition.

Compared to the 3rd Edition this has been reduced in size and put into a more digestible format. It has additional guidance on topics such as investigations, safety system description, integration of management systems (safety, security, finance and environment) and interfacing with the systems of others. In time, examples of best practice are to be posted on the website to complement the guidance.


It has been a busy period on the ICAO documents’ front, with several aerodrome-related updates being recently issued.  These are summarised below.

Image of ICAO Document 10066 and othersPANS-AIM (ICAO Doc 10066)

To support the transition to Aeronautical Information Management (AIM), ICAO has published Document 10066 PANS-AIM.  This document, though published, does not appear to be available on the ICAO website but it is expected in the new year.  Briefly, summarising the State Letter information, PANS-AIM is complementary to the Standards and Recommended Practices contained in Annex 15 – Aeronautical Information Services and in Annex 4 – Aeronautical Charts.  Other Annexes which contain material relative to AIS will reflect PANS-AIM in due course.

One of the objectives of AIM is to ensure quality, integrity error detection of aeronautical data is maintained throughout the data process from survey/origination to distribution to the next intended users.  Additionally, end users of aeronautical data/information have responsibility to ensure accuracy and integrity of the aeronautical data/information they receive.  Clearly, this is in response to technological advance into electronic flight bags and real-time aeronautical information.


Annex 14 Volume 1

Image of ICAO Annex 14

Edition 8 has been published.  It incorporates Amendments up to and including Amendment 14. Amendment 14 revises a number of movement area specifications.  ICAO has done work that establishes a reduction in some of the airfield clearance dimensions, none of which degrade safety.  These include aerodrome reference code, runway and taxiway widths, runway and taxiway shoulders, runway turn pads and strips and taxiway minimum separation distances.  It is worth looking at the new dimensions if you are planning some airport development in the future.

However, there is a note of caution relating to Amendment 13-B which was effective from July 2016 as it does not become applicable until November 2020. 

So, when you get your edition 8, don’t forget to keep Amendment 13-B for a couple of years!

Amendment 13-B relates to work done by ICAO to standardise runway condition assessment, classification and reporting.  Time is needed for systems to be adapted to the revised format and the move for Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) to support Aeronautical Information Services (AIS).


Annex 14 Volume 2

Amendment 8 to Annex 14 Volume 2 is also effective.  This is to reflect the publication of PANS-AIM, so, in broad terms, the content relating to heliport data is removed from the Annex.


Image of ICAO Doc 9981PANS-Aerodromes (ICAO Doc 9981)

Finally, a significant update to PANS-AERODROMES has been approved to be applicable in November 2020.  This Amendment introduces new chapters on training; inspections of the movement area; work in progress (WIP); foreign object debris (FOD) control; wildlife hazard management; apron safety; runway safety; and airside driver permit scheme and vehicle/equipment safety requirements.  This document looks like it will develop into a useful guidance handbook for aerodrome operators from which they may develop their operational rules and procedures.

So, it seems that the Annexes will contain the Standards and Recommended Practices and PANS will provide advice on how the SARPs may be met.  Of course, PANS are not in themselves mandatory, so if your operation wants to do particular things in a different way, this may be feasible if supported by a coherent safety and impact assessment.

It seems ICAO may be moving to greater use of the PANS documents as a means of setting out acceptable means of compliance for various subject areas.

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