Cape Verde, as a contracting party of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 (the Chicago Convention) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982, is, inherently, a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The country has assumed international obligations in the investigation of aeronautical and maritime accidents and incidents occurring in the national territory, with the steady purpose of preventing them. Hence, investigations should be conducted in accordance with the norms and practices recommended by the two international organizations in the area of civil aviation, ICAO and maritime, IMO.
All security investigations are carried out by a permanent, national authority, that is independent in its organization, its legal framework and in its decision-making, from any airport, port, air, sea, or other service operators, or any other party whose interests may conflict with the tasks entrusted to it. This authority should be able to carry out a full safety investigation, either by its own means, or through advance agreements with other international authorities. Formerly in Cape Verde, the means in use for the prevention and investigation of accidents and incidents in air and maritime transport systems were provided for by two entities, namely the Commission for the Prevention and Investigation of Aircraft Accidents (CPIAA) and the Office for the Prevention and Investigation of Maritime Accidents (GPIAM), created, respectively, by Decree-Laws nº38 / 2009 and nº17 / 2016.
CPIAA was only effectively implemented in 2018, a year that marks the starting point for the implementation of an aviation accident prevention and investigation system. With the emergence of the Institute for the Prevention and Investigation of Aeronautical and Maritime Accidents (IPIAAM), through the merger of CPIAA and GPIAM by Decree-Law No.62 / 2018, of 12 December, Cape Verde took a significant step in the prevention of accidents in the areas of air and maritime transport, allowing the country to align with international good practices, on the one hand, and create conditions for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of available resources, on the other.
IPIAAM is a personalized service, rendered by the State, with a collective public legal personality, administrative, financial and property autonomy, that is responsible for the investigation of accidents and serious incidents, and the promotion of safety through the implementation of policies and programs for the prevention of aeronautical and maritime accidents. IPIAAM is, therefore, the National Investigation Authority, whose mission is to investigate aeronautical and maritime accidents and incidents, with the sole purpose of determining their causes and/or factors, to formulate safety recommendations, in order to avoid its repetition. The main aim, thus, is not that of dictating blame or responsibility.