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Circular 285
Guidance on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and Their Families
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CIRCULAR 285-AN/1662001GUIDANCE ON ASSISTANCE TO AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIESApproved by the Secretary Generaland published under his authorityI C A OCIRCULARINTERNATIONALCIVIL AVIATIONORGANIZATIONMONTREALCANADA
iINTRODUCTION1.An aircraft accident is an unexpected and catastrophic event. Despite improvements in the aviationsafety record, the expected increase in air traffic is likely to result in an increasing number of accidentvictims in the foreseeable future. Distress is an inevitable consequence of any accident in which people arekilled or injured. In recent years, concern for persons who have suffered distress and loss as the result ofaircraft accidents has led to increased efforts within the aviation industry to establish means by which theanguish can best be mitigated.2.During its 32nd Session in October 1998, the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAOAssembly considered the subject of assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families. Following adiscussion, the Assembly adopted Resolution A32-7 which stated thatthe State of Occurrence should address the most critical needs of persons affected by a civilaviation accidentICAOs policy should be to ensure that the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of aircraftaccident victims and their families are considered and accommodated by ICAO and itsContracting Statesit is essential that ICAO and its Contracting States recognize the importance of timelynotification of family members of victims involved in aircraft accidents, the prompt recoveryand accurate identification of the fatalities, the return of the victims personal effects and thedissemination of pertinent information to family membersgovernments of nationals, who are victims of aircraft accidents, have the role of notifying andassisting the families of the victimsit is essential that support be provided to family members of aircraft accident victims,wherever the accident may occur, and any lessons learnt from support providers, includingeffective procedures and policies, be promptly disseminated to ICAO and Contracting Statesin order to improve States family support operationsharmonization of the regulations for dealing with the needs of aircraft accident victims andtheir families is a humanitarian duty and an optional function of the ICAO Councilcontemplated in Article 55 c of the Chicago ConventionStates should provide a homogeneous solution for treatment of aircraft accident victims andtheir familiesthe aircraft operator involved in an aircraft accident is often best suited to assist familiesimmediately following an accidentfamily members of aircraft accident victims, irrespective of where the accident occurs or thenationality of the victims, have certain fundamental human needs and emotions and
iiICAO Circular 285-AN/166public attention will continue to focus on the human-interest aspects of aircraft accidents aswell as States technical investigations of these events.In consequence, the Assemblycalled on Contracting States to reaffirm their commitment to support civil aviation accidentvictims and their familiesurged Contracting States, in cooperation with ICAO and other States, to promptly review,develop and implement regulations and programmes to provide that supporturged States that have regulations and programmes for dealing with the affairs of aircraftaccident victims and their families to make them available to ICAO for possible assistance toother States andurged the ICAO Council to develop material citing the need for the establishment ofregulations and programmes by Contracting States and their aircraft operators to supportaircraft accident victims and their families.3.Resolution No. 2 of the International Conference on Air Law, which was held in Montreal from10 to 28 May 1999, recognized the tragic consequences that flow from aircraft accidents. The conferencewas mindful of the plight of aircraft accident victims and their families and took into account their immediateneeds. In so doing, the conference urged air carriers to make advance payments, without delay, based on theimmediate economic needs of aircraft accident victims and their families. The conference also encouragedStates that are parties to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage byAir, adopted on 28 May 1999, at Montreal, to take appropriate measures under national law to promote suchaction by carriers.4.Accordingly, the objective of this circular is to provide guidance on the types of family assistancethat may be provided to aircraft accident victims and their families and the avenues available for providingthat assistance. It aims to better prepare all parties involved, to facilitate the coordination between them andto describe the scope of their involvement. This circular also furnishes guidelines for the establishment ofappropriate legislation, regulations and programmes by Contracting States and their aircraft operators inorder to support aircraft accident victims and their families.5.Irrespective of the scale of an accident, the victims and their families should receive appropriateassistance. Because of variations in the size and circumstances of aircraft accidents, the extent of theresources required to provide family assistance will vary considerably. Therefore, planning for such eventsis necessary to ensure that in the event of a large aircraft accident the assistance provided to the victims andtheir families does not exhaust the available resources.6.This circular discussesthe terminology used in the circularthe persons to whom assistance should be giventhe types of family assistancewhen assistance should be given
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Table Of Contents
COVER PAGE
INTRODUCTION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4