The OHR Military Cell advises the Council of Ministers and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) on structures, management, rules and procedures, recruiting and selection of personnel and budgetary matters. This remit requires co-ordination between OHR, SFOR, the ICAO OPAS Project, and international civil aviation organizations in order that Bosnia and Herzegovina might develop the BiH DCA into an effective state regulatory agency responsible for management of civilian aviation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To achieve this BiH must fulfill ICAO standards, regulations and practices as it works towards membership of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). This requires BiH to have a Civil Aviation administration as the State Authority and suitable operational services. Effective and competent management of the national civil aviation agency is regarded as critical to the operational safety of airlines using Bosnia and Herzegovina airspace and facilities and to the economic development of the country.
The DCA was established in 1997 by the Bosnia and Herzegovina government but has not been able to function in the manner intended primarily as a result of internal political conflict. In August 2000, the Council of Ministers appointed an Aviation Working Group to facilitate the development process. Members included the Minister of Civil Affairs and Communications and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and three deputy ministers. This led into the definition of the EC Project BiH/99/901 that was followed by the today’s EC/ICAO OPAS Project in BiH. During the last two years, a Bosnia and Herzegovina Civil Aviation Law has been enacted, Sarajevo Airport has re-opened to commercial air traffic and SFOR has returned control of part of the upper airspace (29,000 to 39,000 feet) to civilian authorities. In October 2001 this upper airspace was extended to 41,000 feet. Since 27 December 2001 Croatia Control Limited provides under temporary contract the intermediate airspace control (10,000 feet to 29,000 feet).
The current work of OHR revolves around the need for BiH to establish effective control of its own airspace. This includes Air Traffic Control (ATC), Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), Aviation Meteorology Service (MET) and Search And Rescue (SAR) services.