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Advocacy for innovation on International Civil Aviation Day


International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD), celebrated on 7 December each year, commemorates the States’ signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) in 1944. ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano, and Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar, have issued statements which promote the ICAO Council's ICAD theme of: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development.”


7 December statement of Mr Salvatore Sciacchitano, ICAO Council President


International Civil Aviation Day, this year as every year, is about celebrating the crucial role of air transport in bringing the world together.


It is also an opportunity for us to advocate for the safe, secure, and sustainable development of aviation, extending access to those who need it most while ensuring that we do not compromise on our fundamental values.


On this day 79 years ago, States were presented with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of transforming aviation from a primarily military concern, amid an ongoing global conflict, into a civilian resource that would encourage development and peace.


Today, the challenges before international aviation are also tremendously imposing. Responding to the climate emergency in particular will require unprecedented levels of global cooperation and commitment.


The Third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels, which concluded in UAE just two weeks ago, has delivered a global framework for ramping up the production and deployment of clean energy. Clean aviation energy holds the promise of delivering over half of the emissions reductions States need to achieve their net zero ambitions.


The pace of technological and operational innovation in the aviation sector is also rapidly increasing, and this is also providing extremely exciting opportunities for environmental sustainability, along with greatly needed enhancements to aviation safety, security and capacity. This is reflected in the theme for International Civil Aviation Day this year: Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development


As we look forward to next year’s 80th anniversary of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which created ICAO and the foundations for international civil aviation as we know it today, I invite you to join me in reaffirming our dedication to the core values that have and will continue to give us the strength and inspiration needed to seize opportunities and overcome challenges – cooperation, consensus and commitment.


7 December statement of Mr Juan Carlos Salazar, ICAO Secretary General

Aviation is essential to the vitality and sustainable development of communities worldwide, which is why ICAO is celebrating that air services have been almost completely restored in time for this year’s International Civil Aviation Day.


We’re also celebrating that this feat has been achieved while working with our Member States and other stakeholders towards achieving unprecedented levels of aviation safety, security, and sustainability.


Governments have been very clear in the priorities they want to achieve at ICAO: zero fatalities and zero emissions. And ICAO is looking at these goals with a clear vision.


ICAO is fully committed to supporting these efforts both through our guidance to governments – in particular our technical standards and recommended practices, and strategic plans and frameworks – and through the capacity building and implementation services we offer. We are also heightening the reciprocity between these activities to further improve this support.


An excellent example is the ICAO Global Framework for Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels and other Aviation Cleaner Energies. This document, which was the key outcome of the recently concluded Third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3), will accelerate production and deployment by providing policymakers and investors with crucially important structure and confidence.


Core aviation sector stakeholders and new entrants are currently transforming air transport at an unprecedented rate. The innovations that are emerging are crucial to achieving the sustainability of our sector and to its resilience.


That is why the ICAO Council has placed aviation innovation at the core of its vision for aviation development, as reflected in the theme for this year’s International Civil Aviation Day: Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development.


Today is, therefore, an important opportunity for us to express our commitment to the transformation of ICAO, and to invite all stakeholders to join us in this effort. Our transformation is key to ensuring that our activities keep pace with both the rapid technological changes and the innovative regulatory frameworks they require, and with the rapidly expanding needs for capacity building our Member States are expressing.


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency which helps 193 countries cooperate and share their skies to their mutual benefit.


Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination have helped countries to diplomatically and technically realize a uniquely rapid and dependable network of global air mobility, connecting families, cultures, and businesses all over the world, and promoting sustainable growth and socio-economic prosperity wherever aircraft fly.


As it enters a new era of digitization and incredible new flight and propulsion innovations, air transport is relying more than ever on ICAO’s expert support and technical and diplomatic guidance to help chart a new and exciting future for international flight. ICAO is innovating itself to answer this call, and expanding its partnerships among UN and technical stakeholders to deliver a strategic global vision and effective, sustainable solutions.

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