Future Direction Of International Civil Aviation (ICAO)


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Future Direction Of International Civil Aviation (ICAO)

By Jim Douglas

September 02, 2010 - The future growth of the global economy depends upon a robust air transport sector. At the 37th triennial Session of its Assembly at the ICAO Headquarters on September 28 though October 8, 2010, the 190 Member States of ICAO will focus on policies and regulations that will deliver on systematic and consistent improvements to the level of safety, security and environmental sustainability of the sector in the years to come. 

Ministers and high-level officials from a number of Member States and representatives from some 30 international organizations, representing all aspects of international civil aviation will participate. 

The challenge for aviation is to develop more sophisticated tools and techniques to proactively improve safety in an operating environment that is increasingly complex, due to the growth in the number of flights worldwide, the wider range of technologies from older and latest generation aircraft flying in the same airspace, and the progressive introduction of remote-controlled airborne vehicles.


The challenge is also to further improve the safety of the global system while focusing on those regions of the world with the highest levels of safety risks. Accordingly, the Assembly will review for adoption a proposed safety strategy based on transparency and the sharing of safety information, the greater involvement of regional safety organizations and increased cooperation between regulators and industry stakeholders. 

The attempted bombing of a commercial airliner on 25 December 2009 intensified efforts to protect commercial aircraft and air transport facilities from terrorist attacks. The ICAO Assembly will evaluate a range of proposals to deal with new and emerging threats to the security of flights, as well as persons on the ground, while accelerating the flow of passengers at airports. It is also expected to adopt a comprehensive security policy to further tighten the global security net. 

In what is expected to be a landmark decision, the ICAO Assembly will be asked to adopt a policy on climate change that includes even more ambitious goals than those contained in a Program of Action adopted last year by a high-level meeting on aviation and climate change.


This will constitute the first and to date only globally-harmonized agreement from a sector for addressing its CO2 emissions. Member States will look at a number of mitigating measures to further reduce civil aviation?s impact on the environment, including market-based approaches and alternative fuels for aviation, as well as other technological and operational initiatives to support the sustainable growth of international aviation. The Assembly will also focus on improvements to the global air navigation system and the efficiency of air transport operations. It will elect the Council of the Organization for the next three years. 

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Its headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 

The ICAO Council adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, its infrastructure, Flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation. In addition, the ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention. 

The ICAO should not be confused with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade organization for airlines also headquartered in Montreal, or with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), an organization for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP's) with its headquarters at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands.


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