Civil Aviation: socio-economic importance


On International Day, top UN aviation official recalls contributions of civil aviation
Source:UN News.

  In a message on the International Civil Aviation Day, celebrated annually on 7 December, the head of the United Nations civil aviation agency underlined the socio-economic importance and contribution of air travel and aviation.

“Many families [are] re-united, many tourists arrived in exotic destinations, many businesses and producers forged new access to global markets and trade flows, and many thousands of tonnes of goods reached distant consumers eager for their variety and affordability,” said Fang Liu, the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to ICAO, aviation operations generate more than $2.7 trillion in global gross domestic product (GDP) and provide employment for more than 63.5 million people worldwide.

“Most of us of course only notice the pilots, flight crew and airport staff in the course of our journeys, but aviation's reach extends much further into the wide range of tourism and other supplier networks which directly and indirectly rely on its unique global connectivity,” Ms. Liu added and said that one of ICAO's important tasks is to bring together the diverse public and private sector partners who work closely together on virtually every civil aviation objective.

She explained that the Organization, in its 70 years of service, has supported the development of over 12,000 civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices that have helped to align the regulations and operations of different countries and cultures around the world and enable air transport's “truly global reach.”

Ms. Liu further said that with the aviation sector's continuing growth, new challenges such as infrastructure and investment are also emerging and that air traffic management systems and approaches need to be modernized in order to accommodate more aircrafts in a finite airspace.

Noting ICAO's work in raising global awareness and engagement on such issues, she said: “More and more today, governments are becoming better aware of how fundamental air transport access is to a wide range of their socio-economic development objectives in the decades ahead.”

She also highlighted that air transport and systems are vital to the attainment of universal development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and urged governments to keep this issue in mind when revising their development and infrastructure planning.

Recalling the progress made in civil aviation in 2016, she highlighted that the agreement on offsetting and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from international flights was the world first such agreement for any industry sector.

“We are very proud of our role at the heart of the global cooperation which aligns and optimizes this progress, and we will continue to work in the years ahead to keep our planet's skies safe and secure, and more liberalized and efficient, for the benefit of all,” she concluded.

In 1996, noting the contribution of international civil aviation in creating and preserving friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, the UN General Assembly designated December 7 as International Civil Aviation Day. The date also marks the anniversary of the 1944 signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, in Chicago, the US.