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Over 500 New Air Service Agreements Signed at ICAN


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced that 521 new international air service agreements have resulted from its most recent Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) event, which was attended by over 700 participants representing 97 countries. These represent record-breaking outcomes for this edition of the annual meeting, which was generously hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from 3 to 7 December 2023



In recognition of aviation’s crucial role as a catalyst for sustainable development worldwide, the ICAN series was launched in 2008 to facilitate the initiation or renegotiation of the bilateral and multilateral State agreements that form the regulatory foundation of the modern civil aviation network.


ICAO promotes several key priorities for States when supporting their air services negotiations, including liberalized market access for airlines, the removal of barriers to access wider capital markets, and relaxed nationality requirements for airlines’ ownership.



Priorities include commitments to convergent and effective regulatory practices supported by good governance, and recognition of the need for modernized infrastructure and passenger facilitation processes. Those commitments will continue to support safety, security, environmental sustainability, capacity, and resilience objectives, as well as the implementation of effective national competition and consumer protection frameworks, and full compliance with current ICAO policy guidance on taxes, charges, and fees.


Aspirational goals agreed by governments towards the de-carbonization of air transport by 2050 support the expansion of air service agreements associated with these environmental engagements. This is further supported by initiatives led by ICAO to support the development and implementation of the technologies, operational improvements, and cleaner aviation fuels that decarbonization requires.



Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination have helped countries 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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