Speaking at the 2017 ICAO Global Aviation Cooperation Symposium hosted by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) and the Athens International Airport, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu delivered a clear message on the power of ICAO-compliant civil aviation to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“The aviation system has evolved over the decades to become an irreplaceable global network connecting the world’s cultures and economies,” Dr. Liu commented. “It brings together people and businesses to the tune of 10 million passengers daily on over 100,000 flights, while supporting at the same time some 63.5 million jobs globally, fully one third of world trade by value, and more than 2.7 trillion dollars annually to global GDP.
“This helps explain why goal number one of this Symposium is on helping governments to manage change, “but sectoral growth cannot be permitted to negatively impact our key strategic performance targets. Existing levels of aviation safety, security, efficiency, passenger facilitation, and environmental protection must also improve even as we expand.” In this context, cooperation in civil aviation is crucial for achieving a better level of effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
Recognizing that many governments in attendance at the Athens event are now keenly engaged towards achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals being worked toward under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Dr. Liu noted that the ability of air transport connectivity to permit States to expand their route networks, improve foreign market and supply chain access for local suppliers, and in the end bring wide-ranging and sustainable prosperity benefits to their local populations should figure prominently in all related development planning.
“I cannot underscore strongly enough how fundamental this ICAO compliant air connectivity is to States’ long-term socio-economic ambitions,” she concluded.