COLIBRI achieves an important milestone presenting the geoportal to beneficiaries and partners

16 March 2021

On March 3 and 4, 2021,  COLIBRI presented to authorities, beneficiaries and partners its geoportal and mobile application completely dedicated to the control and monitoring of General Aviation (GA) in Latin America and the Caribbean and in West and Central Africa.

The first day was opened by the WCO’s Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and the EU’s Representative, Mrs. Natalie Pauwels.

Dr. Mikuriya highlighted how coordination, cooperation and collaboration are key elements to monitor this highly mobile means of transport and that the innovative IT tool will facilitate data collection and information sharing to better control GA.

Mrs. Pauwels, Head of Unit, Stability and Peace - Global and Transregional Threats · ‎European Commission, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (EU), recalled the importance of this joint initiative which perfectly reflects two of the EU’s main priorities: digitalization and security.

The first day meeting was followed online by more than ninety authorities, who joined from several regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, West and Central Africa and also Europe. Among them Customs Director Generals, Partners Administrations Directors, and Representatives of National and International Agencies involved in the Project and in the field of GA’s control.

The second day was addressed to focal points, experts and officials. This second day meeting was technical and the questions and answers session was very productive and generated a fruitful discussion where many factors and dynamics driving GA’s control were explained. 

COLIBRI’s PM highlighted how the new IT tool will be an important feature to help LEAs face the challenge posed by drug trafficking via this means of transport and he also highlighted how the Tool will be available in four languages and provided to all Law Enforcement Administrations involved in the COLIBRI Project. He concluded pointing out that the new technology will be an important source of data and information with the main aim of better understanding this means of transport’s use, activities and routes.  

The EU Global Illicit Flows Programme (GIFP) PM welcomed the presentation of the new tool and the work done by the Consortium and the COLIBRI’s team looking forward to its operationalization.  
Finally, COLIBRI coordinator after presenting the Project’s results and achievement to date, joined the choir stressing on the necessity of this new technology to efficiently monitor GA.

The second day was followed by one hundred and forty-five officials connected from all regions concerned by the Project.

Overall, the event and the geoportal had a warm welcome by authorities and experts. The new IT tool will be made operational in the coming months and a training specifically dedicated to its use will be provide to administration over the course of 2021.

To recapitulate, the main features of the new technology presented by the Consortium who since almost two year is working on the project are: a database, a mapping tool and a mobile application. Through the desktop version of the portal all users will be able to visualize a public page containing information about the project and about GA. To access the document database, users will then need to log into the system. Once successfully identified, users will be able to utilize the Geoportal, its features, and several layers of information, which may or may not be visualized (depending on the user´s credentials).

The key features of the mobile application were also presented: aircraft identification, uploading of data onto the system, geo-localization using the global positioning system (GPS). The information uploaded will be geo-localized by activating the phone’s GPS. The mobile app will also work offline, allowing the incorporation of data that will be transferred to the database as soon as the user has an internet connection.

In conclusion, the two-day meeting was a success and reflects the efforts made to achieve this unique milestone, to use the words of the Compliance and Facilitation Director: “This event marks a new chapter in General Aviation’s control”.

To know more about the project visit its pages on the WCO website and the GIFP EU website.