COLIBRI, the GIFP project with a special focus on general aviation
The project “Monitoring and Controlling General Aviation along the cocaine route”, or COLIBRI, is a technical assistance and capacity-building programme part of the Global Illicit Flows Programme since its in inception in January 2019. It has been conceived to bring together the skills necessary to carry out effective and professional controls in the sector of general aviation sector.
The capacity building approach of the COLIBRI project is to develop an International Technical Handbook aimed at helping Law Enforcement Administrations in enhancing their control capacities on this means of transport and to provide 30-hour training courses to train personnel who could later transfer the knowledge to field officials through the provision of tutoring.
COLIBRI Y1: the constitution of the pool of experts and the first experts’ meetings
The COLIBRI pool of experts is so far composed by 17 officials from Customs, Police, and Civil Aeronautics, and from countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
These experts, under the overall supervision of the Project Coordinator, have been tasked to develop the training programme and technical handbook, to offer to beneficiary countries a complete and homogeneous training plan.
The complementary nature of the expertise has made possible to cover all fields relevant to the General Aviation sector, namely:
(1) Monitoring and control of airport facilities;
(2) Monitoring and control of air operations;
(3) Border control methods, customs surveillance (intelligence, risk analysis and targeting) and judicial investigation (investigation and fight against crime).
To this end, three experts’ meetings have been held, two in 2019 and one at the beginning of 2020, at the headquarters of the World Customs Organization in Brussels.
This first meeting set up the basis of the work and was an occasion to meet and exchange with the experts about the project and its main components, and to explain in more details the tasks assigned to the group: the development of the pedagogical material. During this 3 day gathering, the experts dealt with specific topics to shape the chapters of the manual and its content. The second meeting, in October 2019, was a key moment to progress, expand the table of content, and standardise it.
The last meeting was the occasion to present:
- The Executive Summary to be submitted for approbation to WCO’s Members during the 40th Enforcement Committee in February 2020.
- A clear picture of the International Technical Handbook based on three titles: i) The legal framework. Administrative regulation, ii) Knowledge of the environment. Monitoring and control, and iii) Fight against illicit trafficking.
- The final version of the training course was presented, highlighting that it is intended to be a living document which might be improved due to new assessments and events.
Takeways and follow up
Ultimately, the three coordination meetings and the work done so far have allowed to set up the basis and the development of an International technical-handbook, which will cover all the essential aspects for strengthening controls. The coordination meetings supported the design of a living, pedagogical and practical document aimed to be a guide and reference for best practices. The pool of experts established will also mobilised to provide the 30-hour training course and related tutorials in the next months.