ICAO Council President: Capacity investments and concrete climate actions must be key priorities for aviation leaders
MONTREAL and SINGAPORE – Addressing the 6th World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum, hosted by Singapore, ICAOCouncil President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed the continuing and critical need for increasing levels of investments earmarked for air transport infrastructure expansion and modernization, as well as concrete actions on climate and sustainability commitments at the global level.
“Our planet and its environment must be a clear priority for every leader today, no matter their company, country or mandate,” Dr. Aliu told the assembled aviation leaders, who represented public and private sector organizations from over 50 nations, “and the simplest way to ensure we are on the right side of this issue is to be taking concrete actions today.”
Noting that the percentage of the air cargo share of items purchased online, grew dramatically from 16 to 74 per cent between 2010 and 2015, and is projected to grow to a remarkable 91 per cent by 2025, President Aliu also stressed to assembled CEOs that “the expectations being fostered today in modern consumers – whether for access to global products and services or ‘next-day’ delivery – are wholly dependent on international air transport to move their online purchases, rapidly and reliably.”
The ICAO Council President further highlighted how international air transport connectivity brings tremendous socio-economic benefits to the States and Regions who set out strong commitments and suitable investments to assure that they are effectively implementing ICAO’s global standards and policies, and ensuring the capacity and efficiency of their local networks through modernized airport and air navigation infrastructure.
This remains a great challenge for the sector, Dr. Aliu noted, because “the contributions of international aviation connectivity to local economies and societies are grossly undervalued.” As evidence of this, he cited the fact that less than 5 per cent of Official Development Assistance globally is earmarked for air transport projects, despite the fact that aviation generated 67.3 million jobs and contributed 2.7 trillion dollars to global GDP in 2016 alone. He furthermore noted the crucial role international air connectivity can play in helping States to realize the UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
While in Singapore, President Aliu concluded Annex 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Leadership and Management Training between ICAO and the Government of Singapore. The agreement details the arrangements for the joint development and delivery of a two-day executive programme on aviation security targeted at Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It was co-signed on the occasion by Mr. Ng Chee Meng, Singapore Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport.
President Aliu also joined other Representatives on the ICAO Council for a special dialogue in Singapore with visiting Directors General of Civil Aviation from around the world, with a view to listening to their concerns, refining their working relationships with ICAO, and building momentum on global sustainability issues through the identification of shared priorities and deepened collaboration.
During his stay in Singapore he was given a tour of the Singapore Airlines Training Centre (STC) where he was provided with a behind-the-scenes look at the training of Singapore Airlines’ pilots and cabin crew. He will also be visiting the new Terminal 4 of Changi Airport, set to open by end-2017. The new state-of-the-art facility features design and process innovations that will redefine passenger travel experiences via a full suite of automated biometric systems for check-in, bag-drop, immigration clearance, and boarding. On the last day of his visit, President Aliu will tour Singapore’s Air Traffic Control Centre.