Ms. Valdís Ásta Aðalsteinsdóttir
Representative of Iceland on the Council of ICAO
Ms. Valdís Ásta Aðalsteinsdóttir has over 30 years of experience across a wide spectrum of aviation and leaderships related businesses, with both public and private sector perspectives. She has held leading change management posts in organizations and is the first woman to be Iceland’s Candidate for the ICAO Permanent Council Representative post. Since October 2019, Ms. Aðalsteinsdóttir has been a part of the NORDICAO rotation group and served as Alternate Representative of the Republic of Finland on the Council of ICAO.
From 2004 until her appointment as Alternate Representative on the Council of ICAO she held various positions in the Icelandic Civil Aviation Authority (now the Icelandic Transport Authority – ICETRA). Among her professional experience, Ms. Aðalsteinsdóttir has served as ICAA’s Public Relations Manager, Manager Special Projects, Director Customer Service Division as well as being a member of ICETRA’s Executive team. She was Iceland’s Aviation Council’s Secretary for seven years and around ten years of experience with Icelandair in various positions from ground handling to Project Manager.
Ms. Aðalsteinsdóttir is a Bachelor of Art graduate in sociology from the University of Iceland and has two Diplomas in Human Resource Management and Public Administration. She has taken part in various seminars regarding management training, change management, public and information rights, management systems, human factor and human relations, quality and risk-based management, as well as internal and external audits. During Ms. Aðalsteindóttir’s vast experience in the field, she has gained general knowledge of international aviation cooperation and of ICAOs Council’s procedures. Ms. Aðalsteinsdóttir was nominated for Stjórnvísir 2019, Icelandic Management Award.
Ms. Aðalsteinsdóttir remains strongly committed to support ICAO’s work and to promote a safe, secure and sustainable civil aviation in a transparent and efficient way. The challenges civil aviation is facing today gives ICAO even a bigger role as a strong global facilitator, which calls for a strong commitment from all ICAO Member States. Let’s all fly again!
Iceland signed the Chicago Convention in December 1944 and participated in the foundation of ICAO. This is special in the light of full independence of the nation that was also realized in 1944. The importance of ICAO and international cooperation in the field of civil aviation was clear to the government of this new born republic. Successful history of ICAO and the milestones achieved for safe, efficient, convenient and sustainable aviation confirm this importance.
Operation of Unmanned Aircraft in Iceland
The Icelandic Transport Authority receives an increasing number of inquiries regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft. Isavia ANS, the Icelandic Air Navigation Provider (here after ANS), has taken an active role in supporting projects with unmanned aircraft within the Icelandic Flight Information Region (BIRD FIR).
Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) have been used in airports for many years. Dogs have mainly been used to screen for illicit drugs in luggage and on persons. But the sensitive snouts are versatile and can also be trained to screen for other things in the airport, e.g. explosives in air cargo. In Denmark the first EDD-teams have been put into operation at Billund Airport (EKBI / BLL), which is the second largest airport in Denmark. Cargo Center Billund is the first Danish company to have EDD teams approved for screening air cargo for explosives.
The transition to sustainable aviation fuel is a new challenge for Estonia. Our aviation industry has been traditionally quite limited to offer support and maintenance services. Though, today successful maintenance company Magnetic MRO located with its HQ in Tallinn provides quality MRO services and capabilities to build technical components for the aviation industry globally. Alongside the aviation industry we have a long-term experience in the chemical industry and more specifically in the processing of oil shale.
Digitalization and cybersecurity are complex, multidisciplinary domains and crucially important enablers of civil aviation. Because of this, they are often challenging to approach and understand. In the broadest context, both disciplines simply enable people to air travel safely in a given schedule. However, both can, in the worst case scenario, seriously impact operational capabilities and capacities leading to weakening safety or security of flight. Even environmental issues are indirectly impacted.
Unmanned Aircraft Management and Oversight System
Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe next to the Baltic Sea. In 2004 Latvia joined the EU and since then has been actively developing its prominent new role in a rapidly globalizing world community. One of Latvia's most important projects at this moment is the Cohesion Fund project "Implementation of an unmanned aircraft management and monitoring system", planned to be finalized by the end of 2023.
Sharing the skies
The drone industry is developing at an accelerating rate. In Norway, smaller drones (sub 25 kg) are now being tested flying cargo in sparsely populated areas, and we are expecting to see them in more urban environments soon. In Iceland, operator Aha is already carrying out deliveries in Reykjavik, winching down hamburgers and pizzas from a multirotor drone. EASA regulations make it easier to operate across borders, and recently, operator Aviant performed such a border crossing from Sweden to Norway, with a drone flying cargo.
As a country with vast distances located in the northern part of the hemisphere, civil aviation is vital for Swedish society and our connectivity with the world. Sweden is therefore a long-standing and committed partner to ICAO and the developments of civil aviation in a globalized and evolving society. Sweden is currently experiencing exciting developments in terms of innovation, technical development and climate transition.