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What is Aviation Safety Oversight and how ICAO does it?

Aviation from a regulatory point of view is all about maintaining the stringent laws that make it proficient and capable of dealing with hazards. The same thing applies to the aspect of Aviation Safety. 

The industry employs some of the most advanced safety measures to ensure safety for all of its stakeholders but someone still needs to check it. That is where Aviation Safety Oversight comes into the picture.

It is the process undertaken by regulatory authorities such as ICAO to make sure that the national laws and safety mandates are followed by state departments and aviation agencies alike. 

The Regulatory Framework

The framework of which, the oversight program is a part, consists of the 4 following points.  


  • Rule Preparation 
  • Rule Enactment
  • Safety Oversight
  • Enforcement



The 4 points boil down to creating an environment where proper rules are prepared for civil aviation safety. After that, it’s made sure that the formed rules are properly enacted by the state authorities. 

Oversight becomes a part of the whole system when the need to verify the applicability of the enacted rules comes under scanner. The compliances and mandatory procedures are checked for their exactness. 

The last process is enforcement, wherein, the faltering elements in the system are isolated and corrective actions are taken against them in order to maintain law and order.  

Where is ICAO Involved?

ICAO has taken a number of important measures in order to make the process of Oversight as sound as possible. This includes acting at both the national level and regional level. They have created a compendium that highlights how the Safety Oversight can be established. It is available in the following two versions;

In Addition, ICAO has also launched the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme which acts as a tool for verification of safety audits being conducted nationwide and how well are states equipped with their safety arrangements. 

If you’re in an aviation business such as aircraft handling services, Aviation Management, Ground Operations, or similar trade, these audits will be applicable to you. You should have your safety processes audited by an experienced Aviation Company in order to ensure compliance. 

Critical Elements of an Oversight System

ICAO has defined a number of key points that part of the list of Critical Elements. These elements must be present in a typical Oversight System employed by the state authorities. 

  • Primary Aviation Legislation
  • Specific Operating Regulations
  • State Aviation System and Safety Oversight Functions
  • Qualified Technical Personnel and Training
  • Technical Guidance, Tools, and Provision of Safety-Critical Information
  • Licensing, Certification, Authorisation and Approval Obligations
  • Surveillance Obligations
  • Resolution of Safety Concerns


The Oversight systems help ICAO and national authorities maintain a stringent culture of aviation safety and ensure that the safety compliances are met at every step of the aviation industry. AAI has been advising on Safety Oversight compliance needs for all types of Aviation Businesses for more than 10 years. You can contact us for similar needs and to make sure that your business is adept at the Oversight Compliances. 

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