Guidelines for Escorts



Dear Escort

You have been selected or designated by your national organization to take part in the International Air Cadet Exchange. As you know, the exchange enables young people interested in aviation to share their experiences during a host country visit. These Guidelines provide you with some essential information concerning the exchange and your role as an escort.


The International Air Cadet Exchange Association (IACEA) groups together the national aeronautics organizations of many countries throughout the world. The IACEA rules of operation are contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with which each participating country must comply. This MOU is the reference for the Association operations as well as exchange planning and conduct.

The aim of the Association is to foster international understanding, goodwill and friendship among young people who have an interest in aviation (MOU 2i). It endeavours to realize this aim by organizing an annual exchange of Air Cadets between organizations of the participating countries (MOU 2ii).

Each Association member country is free to determine the type of national structures from which the air cadets come, which is why the exchange includes young people from strictly civil organizations such as national flying clubs, others from organizations assisted and supported by the armed forces, and some coming directly from the armed forces of their countries. The greatest achievement of such an exchange is that it enables the interaction of young people from those three types of organizations and from different cultures linked only by their interest in aviation.

Since the IACEA and the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI) pursue the same goals with respect to youth interested in aviation, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between these two organizations. Mutual recognition allows them to pool their experience and youth education projects.

Escorts and Exchange Programmes

As cadets from various types of national organizations work together during the exchange, so do escorts. For example, on the same exchange, an escort with experience and often an exemplary career within a national air cadet organization might meet an escort designated by a national flying club, in recognition of his or her work organising the exchange programme within his or her country of origin.

The difference between these two types of escorts may seem enormous but they may be integrated into the exchange as long as they keep in mind the goals of the exchange.  The same applies for an escort from a national organisation who is called upon to visit a country with a different type of organisation.  Escorts must seek the best way to reach the set goals in a spirit of mutual respect and without trying to impose his or her own rules.

Experience has shown that such a blending of various cultures has always had good results and that conscious or unconscious attempts to impose one's own rules have often led to deadlocks detrimental to cadets.  Since the reference with respect to escorts is in our Memorandum of Understanding, let us review its contents on this subject (MOU 7).

This paragraph contains the basic recommendations and obligations for the various countries.  No departure from these is allowed during an exchange.  In taking charge of exchange cadets, IACEA member countries have accepted bilateral escort exchanges.  This means that the number of escorts may vary according to the total group as long as there is compliance with the MOU basic rule.

The paragraph deals with prior information of escorts and the work that they will be required to perform in the host country.  We deal further with this last issue under Prior Information on the operation of the exchange, the make-up of the group (cadets and escorts) as well as the host country and its way of operating the exchange.  This is provided within the schedule set by the IACEA Planning Conference before the exchange and administered by the Secretariat.

The transition phases at the beginning and end of the exchange require the cooperation of escorts for the benefit of all cadets involved, regardless of nationality, and compliance with the guidance provided by persons in charge as designated by the IACEA.  Escorts should project a favourable image in the eyes not only of the cadets that they accompany but also of the officials with whom they are called upon to work during the exchange.

A dress code has been established and must be followed by escorts.

Escorts and Host Countries

Escorts should have been made aware of the IACEA rules before their stay in the host country.  A description of their duties is contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU 7).  Recommendations should be adapted to the type of national organization and exchange programme of the country receiving the cadet group.  The make-up of the group (nationalities and numbers) will affect the work that escorts will be required to perform.

The role of the escort cannot be defined in detail, because it might offend the host country in respect of the work carried out in setting up the proposed programme.  Nonetheless, it is possible to list the following general rules for the role of the escorts since they have been generally applied within the host countries:

  • The exchange programme is under the sole responsibility of the host country according to the rules set out in the IACEA Memorandum of Understanding.
  • The operation of the exchange is the responsibility of the person in charge of the exchange, or of his or her designated representative who determines the day-to-day details related to schedules, dress, group functioning, etc.
  • A general briefing including group introductions and covering the programme and how it will be conducted will be provided at the beginning of the stay.
  • Escorts serve as liaison officers between the organization of the host country and the group of cadets providing any information not yet provided by the organization.
  • All cadets and escorts are to follow the exchange programme.
  • Escorts are to comply with the exchange programme and not take any personal initiatives that would depart from the programme except in extreme cases.
  • Escorts may be called upon to assume responsibility for the group or part of the group from time to time or for a defined period under the authority of the person in charge of the group or his or her designated representative.
  • Except in specific cases defined by host organizations, there can be no programme or initiatives separate from the overall approved programme.
  • Escorts will not grant preference to cadets from their own organization or give them instructions differing from those issued by the organization of the host country.
  • Escorts shall resolve any differences of opinion with the host country organization.
  • Any major problem shall be reported to the host country organization, which will take any action required within the framework of the IACEA Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Escorts shall be the prime contacts should an outside event affecting one of their cadets or another cadet occur.
  • The dress and conduct of escorts must be exemplary.
  • Escorts must be physically fit to take part in all group activities under the exchange programme established.

Extracts from the Memorandum of Understanding

1. Organization

  1. The International Air Cadet Exchange Association, hereafter referred to as the Association, is composed of co-operating national air organizations from any number of countries.
  2. By joining the Association, each national organization agrees to the rules and procedures established in this memorandum.

2. Aim of the Association

  1. The aim of the Association is to foster international understanding, goodwill and friendship among young people who have an interest in aviation.
  2. It endeavours to realize this aim by organizing an annual exchange of air cadets between participating organizations.

3. Rules for the Exchange

  1. Eligibility: To participate in the exchange, cadets must be at least 17 years and no more than 20 years of age on 1st August in the year of the exchange. Male and female cadets may be exchanged. Selected cadets should have a working knowledge of English, but this requirement may be waived when cadets speak their host country language.
  2. Selection of cadets: Each organization will determine its own selection procedures, but emphasis must be placed on cadets’ knowledge and interest in aviation and on being good representatives for their organization and country.
  3. Selection of escorts: By agreement, escorts may be appointed to accompany cadets. An escort is required when exchanging groups of 6 or more cadets. Escorts must be over 25 years of age, physically fit, knowledgeable of the Association aims, and have experience in the field of aviation. Above all they must have the common sense and maturity and experience in dealing with young people. Spouses, relative and friends are not to accompany escorts. Escorts are to be briefed on all aspects of the exchange programme and are to be made aware of their responsibility and that of the host organization for ensuring the success of the visit. They will be actively involved in the day-to-day exchange operation and will assist host country members in supervising all cadets regardless of nationality. Escorts will be also appointed by the host organization to accompany cadets throughout the period of the exchange.
  4. Programme: Each country will decide its own programme contents, but all countries should aim to provide a programme that will appeal to cadets with the right balance between aviation subjects, visits to industry, cultural activities, sightseeing and leisure entertainment. Cadets and escorts must take part in each programme event offered by their host country. All programmes must be designed with due consideration for all participants’ protection and safety. Exchange participant countries are to exercise all reasonable duties of care in considering the suitability of activities to ensure that appropriately trained personnel execute programmes.
  5. Dress: Each organization will ensure that all their cadets and escorts wear clothes of a uniform pattern by means of an official exchange outfit. This may take the form of uniform or civilian clothes. The official country dress must be worn on all formal occasions and for travel to and from the host country. The following dress codes will apply:
    • DF - Formal (Example, Dress shirt with tie, Blazer or Pullover and slacks or skirt).
    • DS - Semi-Formal (Example, Polo Shirt with Slacks).
    • DC - Casual (Example, Tee Shirt and shorts or other non-offensive clothing of a similar type).
  6. Medical fitness: Cadets and escorts are to be free from any medical condition that will prevent them from taking a part in all aspects of the exchange programme, including flying as passengers in military and civilian aircraft and gliding. Where any special medication is required for use by participants on a regular and prescribed basis, such must be reported to the host country in advance. Exchange participants must agree that if necessary they are prepared to accept medical treatment under arrangements made by their host country.
  7. Reporting illness or accidents: In the event of illness or accident, in addition to any other action taken, the host country must inform the IACEA organization of the country concerned immediately.
  8. Exchange details: Each year members are required to submit participant (cadet and escort) details and the host country exchange programme in accordance with the time schedule determined by the Planning Conference and administered by the Secretariat. IACE Information Forms are to reach host countries as soon as possible in the planning cycle but by no later than 1st June.
  9. Luggage: All participants (cadet and escorts) luggage is limited to one piece weighing not more than 20 kilos (44 pounds (lbs)) and one hand carried bag that meets current international airline requirements.
  10. Member countries are to exchange details of their national escort officers’ mobile/cell phone numbers to facilitate timely contact in the event of an emergency.