ICAO compliance is critical to sustainable development, and a prerequisite for accessing the socio-economic developmental opportunities offered by the global aviation network.
The unprecedented air traffic growth forecast for the Middle East means Qatar is well positioned to make major contributions to sustainable aviation, ICAO’s Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu declared during a recent official visit to the country.
Sustainable aviation is predicated on compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices (SARPs), including throughout periods of intense growth such as that forecast for the Middle East.
“Regularly achieving double digit growth in traffic volume for passengers and freight, Qatar’s civil aviation sector is dynamic,” Dr. Liu said. “Ensuring effective implementation of ICAO’s standards and recommended practices (SARPs) leads to safer and more secure air transport, which in turn fosters increased connectivity and greater prosperity for the State.”
On this point, the Secretary General took the opportunity to present ICAO’s “No Country Left Behind” initiative to Prime Minister HE Abdalla Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani. It provides States with assistance with SARPs implementation and encourages regional leadership and cooperation.
In turn, the Prime Minister assured the Secretary General of Qatar’s willingness to work closely with ICAO on sustainability. He expressed his support for the “No Country Left Behind” initiative and stressed Qatar’s willingness to provide support to underprivileged States in the region through ICAO’s Middle East Regional Office, and to facilitate neighbouring countries’ planning for the World Cup.
This commitment was underscored by the signing of a general agreement between ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau and Qatar.
The Secretary General also met with HE Mr. Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Qatari Minister of Transport and Communication, who highlighted his country’s prioritization of civil aviation within its national developmental plan, its commitment to sustainability, and its consequential financial and human resourcing of the sector. The Minister also expressed Qatar’s willingness to provide scholarships for underdeveloped countries in the region through ICAO’s Next Generation Aviation Professionals programme, for which an event is being planned for 2017.
In a meeting with HE Abbdalla Bin Nasser Al-Subaey, Chairman of Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, she stressed the importance of regional coordination in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022 specifically, in order to ensure that Hamad International Airport, which she visited during her stay, will have the necessary capacity to handle operations efficiently. Implementation of air traffic flow management (ATFM) is a major priority in this regard.
The Secretary General also visited Qatar Aviation College, where she stressed the importance of aviation training in terms of the very promising growth in the region.