More than 60 Pacific region and international delegates attended the three-day Port Vila event
The Council was joined by Pacific government civil aviation authorities' representatives from Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The governments of Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand, the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the World Bank, and Asian Development Bank (ADB), together with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Airways New Zealand, Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and PASO's civil aviation inspectors attended.
"This is the largest delegation to a PASO Council meeting and is a strong indicator of the increased trust and confidence that PASO is heading in the right direction," PASO chairman Wilson Sagati said.
The PASO council meeting represents the first step taken following the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu in August this year, where leaders endorsed the convening of a Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting (RAMM) scheduled for March 2020 in Port Moresby.
This week the PASO Council reviewed initial papers for the RAMM and took the opportunity to have a broad and open discussion aimed at strengthening aviation in the Pacific. The Council also committed to ensuring all Pacific Islands Forum Members are included.
"Significantly, the RAMM provides an excellent opportunity for all Pacific nations to collaborate and coordinate for the benefit of our region," Sagati said.
The PASO Council also considered how the RAMM can be positioned to include important ICAO global initiatives, such as the Global Aviation Safety Plan, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' vision of Pacific Regionalism.