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ICAO Secretary General highlights global, regional priorities to South American Directors General of Civil Aviation

ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu meets with Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nestor Popolizo (left), and its Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Edmer Trujillo (right), during her recent mission to Lima.

Dr. Fang Liu commended the SAM region in particular on the aviation safety performance being achieved – even as local traffic figures continue to rise.

MONTREAL and LIMA – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, met last week with the Directors General of Civil Aviation of ICAO’s South American (SAM) Member States, when they gathered for their annual meeting (RAAC/16) in Lima, Peru.

She was also in Lima for adjacent ceremonies celebrating the 70th anniversary of ICAO’s SAM Office, which were also attended by the First Vice-President and several Representatives of the ICAO Council.

Recognizing that scheduled commercial departures in their combined States continued their upward trend last year, in her opening remarks to the RAAC/16 meeting Dr. Liu commended the SAM region in particular on the aviation safety performance being achieved – even as local traffic figures continue to rise. But she also expressed concerns that runway safety incidents continue to challenge many SAM region States.

“I would encourage members of the Pan-American Regional Aviation Safety Group to draw their attention to the outcomes from the Second ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium (GRSS/2) held here in Lima recently, something all ICAO regions must remain focused on in the near term in order to help mitigate these still serious Runway Safety risks.”

Dr. Liu greatly appreciated the results-driven approaches to sectoral improvement set out lately in South America under the Bogota Declaration (2013), noting that since its adoption the Region’s rate of Effective Implementation of ICAO Standards jumped from one to six per cent in just the first year, and that its average Effective Implementation rate has risen from 70 to nearly 80 per cent since that time.

“These are real-world outcomes which not only save lives, but also serve to raise levels of general appreciation and confidence in air transport services across our sector’s entire client base,” she commented.

Dr. Liu also remarked on how she had been greatly encouraged by the new Pan-American Declaration adopted by Latin American States during the recent Fourth ICAO World Aviation Forum, in addition to the derived action plans which will provide the region with an inspiring vision fully aligned with the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 SDGs and ICAO’s Global Plans.

“In this post-Bogota period we now find ourselves in, there has been broad agreement that your Region needs a more ambitious long-term strategy to continuously augment air transport connectivity and the benefits which derive from it,” she highlighted. “These programmes and plans for aviation development must be developed in a collaborative manner with international agencies, for example regional organizations such as LACAC, as well as with industry.”

Further attention was drawn to the importance of aligning national and regional targets on the basis of ICAO’s Global strategic Plans for Aviation Safety, Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency, and Aviation Security, especially in light of the incredible innovation revolution being seen across air transport today.

She noted that at the 40th Assembly of ICAO next September, States would be agreeing on their consensus-based directives to ICAO with respect to how to adjust and transform civil aviation so that it can effectively accommodate and nurture some of the innovations now emerging, sector-wide.

Referring to the increasing deployment of drone technologies and traffic management solutions, the launch of autonomous, suborbital, and supersonic operations, as well as other cutting-edge capabilities derived from artificial intelligence and block chain technologies, Dr. Liu reiterated that  she considers it essential that “ICAO works to integrate new entrants in the world of aircraft design and operation more meaningfully into our existing regulatory frameworks and processes.”

Dr. Liu concluded by noting the importance of continued investments in air transport infrastructure in support of managing future capacity challenges, and highlighted the need for stable national regulatory frameworks to attract needed investments, in addition to aligned national development planning which meaningfully integrates aviation objectives.

She lastly recognized that 7 December, International Civil Aviation Day, was a very appropriate occasion to celebrate the 70th year of the ICAO SAM Office’s establishment in Lima, and thanked the Government and people of Peru for their generous support over the decades.

During her visit to Peru, the Secretary General met with the State’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nestor Popolizo, and its Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Edmer Trujillo. On both occasions the important issues discussed included exploring new opportunities for expanding collaboration between Peru and ICAO, including further potential support to the State through ICAO Technical Cooperation projects.

The Ministers also welcomed Dr. Liu’s encouragement to consider Peru’s more active involvement in the international events promoted by ICAO, noting that the State had helpful lessons to share and that it could play an important role in augmenting regional capacities and promoting initiatives with other States and entities around the World.

Another very important outcome achieved was the Ministers’ positive response toward establishing more coordinated actions with related Ministries and Agencies in regard to addressing the implementation of the ICAO Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) strategy in the State, and especially on actions to support the sharing of Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data among connecting States, and related actions regarding the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD).

During her visit to Peru, Dr. Liu was accompanied by ICAO’s SAM and North America, Central America and Caribbean Regional Directors, Messrs Fabio Faizi Rahnemay Rabbani and Melvin Cintron, respectively, and by the Deputy Director of Monitoring and Oversight of ICAO’s Air Navigation Bureau, Mr. Denis Guindon.

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