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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN Specialized Agency, is the global forum for civil aviation. ICAO works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States.

The Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as Chicago Convention), was signed on 07-Dec-1944 by 52 States. Pending ratification of the Convention by 26 States, the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) was established. ICAO came into being on 04-Apr-1947. In October of the same year, ICAO became a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The Preamble to the Convention on International Civil Aviation sets forth the purpose of ICAO:

  • WHEREAS the future development of international civil aviation can greatly help to create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, yet its abuse can become a threat to the general security; and
  • WHEREAS it is desirable to avoid friction and to promote that co-operation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends;
  • THEREFORE, the undersigned governments having agreed on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.

 
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41 total articles

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Global aviation agrees a carbon offset scheme at ICAO's Assembly - but leaves much work to be done

13-Oct-2016 5:13 PM

On 6-Oct-2016 the Assembly of ICAO adopted a resolution to implement a global carbon-offsetting scheme for aviation. The scheme is aimed at helping to neutralise the CO2 emissions impact of the growth in international air travel after 2020. It complements efforts by the industry to mitigate its climate change impact through improvements in aircraft technology, operations and infrastructure and sustainable alternative fuels.

The President of the Council of ICAO, Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, acknowledged that the process had been complex for all concerned, but hailed the agreement as the result of a process characterised by a high level of political will. IATA welcomed the "historic" agreement as the first global climate change mitigation scheme covering an entire industrial sector.

However, the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation said that the agreement sent a "worrying signal" and the coalition member Transport & Environment called it "a weak start". It does leave a number of important details still to be elaborated. Given the complexity of negotiating a global deal, the ICAO agreement may be the best that could be expected for now. Nevertheless, aviation must continue to show strong ambition to play its part in mitigating climate change, and also in being seen to do so.

Climate is existential - for the planet and air travel: Aviation must renew its licence to grow

23-Mar-2016 11:30 AM

An audience of senior aviation professionals recently doubted the sector's ability to renew its licence to grow. At CAPA's Airlines in Transition (AIT) conference in Dublin on 11-Mar-2016, 88% of delegates polled believed that environmental pressures would constrain airline growth over the next 20 years. Although aviation is one of the only global sectors with ambitious emissions reduction targets, and a strategy to achieve them, its message is not being heard.

Aviation must communicate its importance to the global economy, so that governments and other stakeholders regard its growth as essential. Introducing the topic, Professor Geoffrey Lipman argued for a "moon-shot" to focus resources and attention on developing commercially viable biofuels, allowing a carbon-free future for aviation. This goes beyond the industry's current targets. He stressed the significance of climate change above almost any other global issue: "Climate is existential", he stated.

Following the 2015 Paris Agreement the world has stepped up all efforts to ensure its future existence. Aviation must play its part and also be seen to do so.

CAPA Iran Aviation Summit 2016: Iran announces Airbus and ATR order plans

25-Feb-2016 2:23 AM

CAPA’s Iran Aviation Summit 2016, the first international aviation conference in Iran for nearly four decades, opened today. More than 400 delegates and attendees – airlines, airports, aircraft and engine manufacturers, GDS and technology providers and suppliers – listened to aviation leaders and decision makers talking about the future of Iran’s aviation market. For those of you that missed it, here are some of the key highlights from Day 1:

CAPA Iran Aviation Summit 2016: Iran announces Airbus and ATR order plans

25-Jan-2016 10:15 AM

CAPA’s Iran Aviation Summit 2016, the first international aviation conference in Iran for nearly four decades, opened on 24-Jan-2016.

More than 400 delegates and attendees – airlines, airports, aircraft and engine manufacturers, lessors, GDS and technology providers and suppliers – listened to aviation leaders and decision makers talking about the future of Iran’s aviation market.

Some of the highlights from Day 1 were the announcement by Iran's Deputy Minister of new aircraft orders from Airbus and ATR, Iran Air's 10 year development plan, including making Tehran Airport a major transit hub, and Turkish Airlines' prediction of a doubling of tourism demand within two years.

Aviation safety vs the “prosecutorial imperative”. Indiscriminate prosecutions erode safety culture

27-Oct-2015 8:17 PM

This report contains extensive extracts from the Keynote Remarks of Jeff Shane, IATA General Counsel, to the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association Aviation and Space Law Committee National Program, in Washington, DC on 22-Oct-2015. Mr Shane addresses a key area of concern to those dedicated to applying lessons learned from airline accidents in the cause of improving air safety.

Major improvements in safety management have come with the advent of voluntary reporting systems, dating back to the 1970s. Mr Shane recounts that these systems have been encouraged by regulators in a number of countries as part of a non-punitive, “just culture” approach to safety regulation. There is an emerging consensus among regulators and airlines alike that a “just culture” approach yields greater benefits than a regime characterized by enforcement penalties. Essential to the success of such systems is that the information furnished through such systems be held in strict confidence.

However, Mr Shane was concerned at a persistent “prosecutorial imperative” - that judges, prosecutors, and trial lawyers often seek access to this material and, “in a growing number of cases, they have succeeded.” If this trend were to continue, says Mr Shane, “the essential flow of safety information would simply dry up” as those with valuable knowledge fear the legal consequences of sharing information.

Emissions trading: will Europe’s concession to ICAO be just hot air? Airlines hold their breath

12-Sep-2013 10:57 PM

The European Union has proposed to limit until 2020 its Emissions Trading System to that part of an intercontinental flight that operates within EU airspace, in an attempt to persuade the UN agency ICAO to reach a global solution to the carbon emissions problem. The next three-yearly ICAO assembly, starting in Montreal on 24-Sep-2013, is expected to include a resolution about the use of global market-based measures aimed at reducing aviation’s emissions.

IATA’s annual meeting in Jun-2013 backed a plan based on airlines offsetting their emissions after 2020 by purchasing so-called carbon permits (which allow the purchaser to emit carbon dioxide, CO2) from other sectors that manage to reduce pollution. IATA represents 240 airlines globally, but there remain significant hurdles to a global agreement since, ultimately, it is governments (through ICAO) that will have to agree any measures.

This content is exclusively for CAPA Membership Subscribers

CAPA Membership gives you the latest aviation news and alerts, access to CAPA articles, reports, and our leading aviation data with optional premium add-ons.