ICAO at 36th ECAC Plenary
Leaders highlight European aviation performance and forecast growth challenges
Accelerating traffic growth and emerging challenges on the safe integration of drones, commercial space flights, and artificial intelligence were some of the key points addressed in Strasbourg, France where ICAO’s Council President and Secretary General took part in the European Civil Aviation Conference’s (ECAC) 36th Plenary Session (July 10-11).
In his keynote address to the European government and industry air transport leaders in attendance, ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu highlighted Europe’s status as one of the most liberalized and integrated air transport markets in the world.
He praised the Region for its high levels of safety and security even as it carries half of the world’s international passengers, but stressed that forecast growth poses significant challenges in this regard, and that States and operators alike could benefit from ICAO’s global planning as they seek to optimize the socio-economic benefits of increasing flight volumes in finite air space.
The ICAO President also updated the European audience on the recent progress made by the ICAO Council on the standards for its CORSIA emissions offsetting programme, set to commence in 2021, and set the stage for what will be decided at ICAO’s 13th Air Navigation Conference this October.
In her opening statement, ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu emphasized that the 27 percent of global traffic managed by Europe today corresponds to some 11.9 million jobs being generated in the Region, and a €735 billion impact on local GDP.
Liu also underscored that safety performance has been a key contributing factor to Europe’s air transport growth and success, and how its improved coordination had helped its States achieve particularly admirable ICAO safety oversight audit results.
She also recognized and supported ECAC’s objective to achieve greater pan-European harmonization on air transport policy priorities, and strongly emphasized the importance of maintaining momentum on the Region’s implementation of the ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).
During their stay in France, ICAO’s senior officials, accompanied by EUR/NAT Regional Director Luis Fonseca de Almeida, conducted bilateral meetings with Henrik Hololei, Director General, DG MOVE, European Commission, Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Sangdo Kim, Director General for Aviation Safety Policy, Republic of Korea, and Kevin Shum, Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
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