This was a lively and fruitful meeting, with discussions mainly centred at improving the communication with our member associations/societies and associates, and with the wider public. We established a working group with the task to develop a communication strategy, to find ways for ESAM to be more visible not only through its website but also by using popular social media channels. 

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As the snow is falling in front of my house in Oslo and the fog has obliterated the normal view of Holmenkollen - the venue of ECAM 5 in Oslo, I embark on my first blog as President of ESAM. I have just sent out the Agenda for the Executive committee´s next meeting in Prague. The venue is not a coincidence, as The Czech Association of Aviation Medicine together with the Institute of Aviation Medicine in Prague has offered to organise ECAM 6 in 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. In the centre of Europe, Prague is a beautiful city and a magnificent proposition for ESAM as a possible venue for our next congress. The meeting in Prague will give us  more insight into the opportunity which has been offered us for 2018 - and I really look forward to meeting our local colleagues.

The congress in Oslo was very successful, so successful that there are some worries around the world of Aerospace Medicine that our congress might be competing for delegates in other congresses in Aerospace Medicine. This is, of course, not an intention, but rather a function of the need for a European regional congress. This is natural, as Europe now has 24% of all departures, and 50% of all international airline departures in the world (ICAO figures). Even though we must have a strong regional profile to our work in ESAM, we also need to co-operate with our partners in aviation medicine across the globe. Specifically, we are having discussions this spring with the Aerospace Medical Association and the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine on how we in the future can organise conferences in Aerospace medicine in the best way for us all, in synergy rather than competition. As you all know, our friends in the Aerospace Medical Association supported us greatly in the Oslo congress last year, bringing a global flair and competence to the organisation which set its mark on attendance and quality - this is a partnership we wish to repeat in the future. 

The European Pilot Peer Support initiative (EPPSI - see more on this under News and Press releases) culminated with a strong and convincing launch event in Frankfurt on the 2nd of February. I am proud that ESAM has played a major role in this work, which might be the most imoportant flight safety initiative following the tragic Germanwings accident. It is also of interest to note the power of cooperation when organisations in Aviation representing pilots, psychologists and aeromedical specialists come together around a common cause.

The upcoming meeting of the Executive committee and the Advisory board will be held in the Institute of Aviation Medicine in Prague. I look forward to visiting this institute, one of many important institutions of Aerospace medicine in Europe. I hope that, moving forwards, we will to a greater extent than up to now, be able to bring together also the military institutes in active roles in ESAM. Military and Civilian Aerospace medicine have many synergies which we can capitalise on.

Anthony Wagstaff
President, ESAM