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Member States
Sri Lanka
Executing Agency

International Civil Aviation Organization







Although establishement of Civil Aviation Safety Team is viatal for the promotion of safety, establishment and maintenance of such a team with adequate representations from a crosssection of the industry is cost prohibitive for most of the States in South Asia. Hence a regional approach to review of safety issues and propose solutions would prove to be more efficient and cost effective.

COSCAP-South Asia has laid a good foundation for regional cooperation in the field of civil aviation and is considered well positioned to co-ordinate safety related issues in the region and find remeidal measures through a regional group of experts (Working Group) under its working mechanism.

Accordingly, the Steering Committee considered establishing a South Asia Regional Aviation Safety Team, which would have a mandate to identify safety issues related to major causes of aircraft accidents in the globe with special emphassi on the region and to make appropriate recommendations to mitigate the risks. This process is in support of the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan, which was endorsed by 32nd Session of the Assembly in 1998.


The ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), which was endorsed by the 32nd Session of the ICAO Assembly in 2001, stressed the need for a reduction in the rate of fatal accidents in air transport operations. GASP endorses the concept of concentrating on ICAO safety related activities planned or currently underway, which offer the best safety dividends in terms of reducing the accident rate. Additionally, GASP encourages States to foster regional and sub regional safety groups for the purpose of furthering the global safety effort.

Two major safety initiatives have been established which are in keeping with the broad objectives of GASP. The United States, as part of the FAA's Safer Skies agenda, established the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) in June 1998. Similarly, in 1998 the States represented by the JAA formed the Joint Strategic Safety Initiative (JSSI) which is now called ESSI after it is brought under EASA.

Both initiatives draw upon a broad base of experts from government agencies, airlines, manufacturers, aviation associations, labour unions, and other safety related organizations. The focus of their efforts resulted from a rigorous analysis of accidents, which occurred over the most recent ten year period for which significant data was available. Major causes of accidents were identified and categorized, and priorities were assigned to, for the purpose of pursuing remedial actions. Top accident categories being examined by these groups are:

· Controlled flight into terrain
· Approach and landing
· Loss of Control
· Uncontained engine failures
· Runway incursions
· Weather

CAST and ESSI work in close cooperation to analyze significant worldwide accidents/incidents, develop recommendations for improvement actions, and commit/monitor implementation completion. In addition, some members from each group actively participate in the other group on a regular basis.

At the 8th meeting of the Steering Committee held in 2001, an initial discussion paper on the formation of South Asia Regional Aviation Safety Team (SARAST) was presented by COSCAP for the consideration of the Steering Committee Members. At its 9th meeting, the Steering Committee approved formation of SARAST with the need to reporting to the SCM in regard its work and recommendations. Consequently, the first ever meeting of SARAST was held in Bangkok on 12-13 June, 2002 heralding the formation of SARAST.


These Terms of Reference outline the concept and modus operandi of SARAST as technical arm functioning under the COSCAP-SA Steering Committee.

Consistent with Immediate Objective I of the Programme Document, the COSCAP-SA Steering Committee formally constituted the South Asia Regional Aviation Safety Team (SARAST) to play an active role in the global effort to reduce accidents.


The objective of the team is to recommend accident prevention interventions to the Steering Committee. The recommendations, once approved by the Steering Committee, may be implemented through the coordinated efforts of the regulatory authorities, in consonance with service providers, airlines and aircraft manufacturers. When such actions are endorsed by the Steering Committee, the Team Members will serve as focal points for introducing the interventions within their respective States/Administrations and for coordinating their government's efforts with industry.

To accomplish the objectives, the team will

  1. Review, for application within the South Asia area, existing safety interventions which have already been developed through the efforts of well established, multinational safety initiatives: and
  2. Review regional accidents/significant incident trends and other areas of local concern to determine unique issues (such as aging aircraft, air rage incidents, etc.) which may warrant locally developed interventions.
  3. focus and prioritise for introduction, support, and development of actions, which have the potential to effectively and economically reduce the regional accident rate.

SARAST Modalities:

  1. Initially the COSCAP-SA CTA/PC will serve as the Team Leader.
  2. The membership of the SARAST for each participating regulatory authority may include one flight operations and one airworthiness representative and/or representative from other functional areas.
  3. Appropriate industry groups will also be invited to attend the SARAST meetings.
  4. After regionalization of COSCAP-SA, the PC will work as the member secretary of the team.

SARAST Duties and Functions:

  1. Review safety interventions which have already been developed by existing safety groups such as ICAO, CAST and JSSI and advise the Steering Committee which of these are appropriate for implementation with the South Asia region;
  2. Identify areas of concern to flight safety that may be unique to the region or require emphasis within the region, and develop data and interventions to address those concerns;
  3. Work closely with service providers, airlines, manufacturers, industry and labor associations, and other appropriate organizations to ensure that interventions are implemented through a coordinated effort; and
  4. Review outputs from ICAO audits and issues identified by Member States.

The SARAST Team Leader;

  1. will maintain close contact with ICAO to benefit from its advice on the subject and to this effect he will provide regular feedback to ICAO on the activities of SARAST and on the emerging intervention proposals.
  2. In addition, he will liaise as required with other regional safety teams to benefit from their efforts.

The Steering Committee will monitor activities of SARAST and promote the implementation of those interventions that are deemed appropriate for the South Asia region.

The initial meeting of the SARAST team included representatives of CAST, JSSI, appropriate industry organizations and other organizations. After the initial meeting, the bulk of ongoing work/coordination to be accomplished through electronic communications. The team will meet as necessary to a maximum of twice each year.

As stipulated in the terms of reference approved by the SC, the first task of SARAST was to review safety interventions which have already been developed through the efforts of well established multinational safety initiatives and to focus on the flight safety concerns in the South Asia region.

SARAST then establishes priorities and methodologies for implementing the safety interventions and make appropriate recommendations to the SC. The recommendations, once approved by the SC, shall be implemented through the coordinated efforts of the regulatory authorities in cooperation with the airlines, service providers and the aircraft manufacturers.

Several relevant safety interventions/ action plans of Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) and Joint Strategic Safety Initiative (JSSI) were discussed at the First SARAST Meeting. The Recommendations by the SARAST Meeting were reviewed in the 10th Meeting of the SC, and concurred for adoption and implementation in the SA region. In the Second SARAST Meeting held in Bangkok in June 2003, the progress of implementation of the interventions were reviewed.

A detailed record of discussions is prepared and all team members are urged to implement the interventions within the time frames agreed upon in the meeting. The above procedure would be adopted for all SARAST meetings. The COSCAP-SA maintains a web-based updated tracking system for reviewing the status of implmentation of the SARAST safety interventions in the Member States.

ARAST (Asia Regional Aviation Safety Team)

The SC decided that subject to the decisions of the relevant SC meetings of the COSCAP-NA and COSCAP-SEA, the SARAST should join with NARAST and SEARAST to form a combined Regional Aviation Safety Team (RAST) which will be designated as ‘Asia Regional Aviation Safety Team (ARAST)’ which may meet for the usual period of days with an additional day to deliberate on sub-regional issues specific to COSCAPSouth Asia.

The ARAST Recommendations, once approved by the Steering committee will be implemented in the Member States with the technical support of the Programme and also active participation of respective National Aviation Safety Teams in the Member States.


Last updated on : 03-Feb-2011
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