Over 800 Ministers and senior officials from States, UN and international organizations have gathered at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) today, taking part in a series of landmark discussions on sustainable aviation development, tourism growth, and other critical air transport concerns at the first-ever ICAO World Aviation Forum.
The three-day event, featuring a series of roundtables and workshops, was opened by ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. Newly-appointed Canadian Transport Minister, the Honourable Marc Garneau, was also on hand to welcome and address the international dignitaries.
“With the air transport sector poised to double in flight and passenger volumes over the next 15 years, significant investment commitments will be required towards new airport and air navigation infrastructure and other air transport capacities,” President Aliu highlighted. “It was critical for ICAO to bring together these players now in order to anticipate these challenges in greater detail, and to raise awareness on the critical importance of aviation and global connectivity to the future prosperity of societies and economies all over the world.”
ICAO has already begun highlighting a number of these issues under the No Country Left Behind campaign it launched at the end of 2014. In every case the UN’s specialized agency for civil aviation is seeking to make clear that the continued safety and efficiency of global aviation, critical to a wide range of citizens and economic sectors, requires coordinated assistance for States in need and determined commitment on behalf of governments, industry and the development community in the years ahead.
“In light of its cross-cutting nature and multiple links to other economic sectors, the total economic impact of aviation reaches some 3.5 per cent of world GDP, equivalent to 2.4 trillion dollars, while supporting some 58.1 million jobs,” added ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. “As States all over the world are now working together to realize the social, economic and environmental priorities reflected in the recently-adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals, ICAO recognized that the fundamental role of safe and reliable aviation as an engine for socio-economic prosperity needed to be re-emphasized so that it’s benefits can contribute to that process.”