On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Photo: Serge Davidyants A passenger jet sits on a stand at an airport terminal.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Marking International Civil Aviation Day, the United Nations aviation agency, ICAO, is showcasing the socio-economic benefits and “tremendous” opportunities presented by the global journey towards sustainable development.

“International civil aviation remains our most remarkable example of successful human cooperation and effective global partnership,” President of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Council, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said, in a joint statement, together with ICAO Secretary-General Fang Liu.

No fewer than 4.1 billion passengers and 56 million tonnes of freight were carried on 37 million commercial flights last year, and…aviation generates over 65 million jobs worldwide and more than $2.7 trillion to global GDP, the statement continued.

In addition, the “tremendous exponential growth” of commercial flights has helped contribute towards 15 of the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which nations of the world have pledged to meet by 2030.

To date, ICAO has not only helped many countries become more active in international aviation, but also helped increase tourism revenues for Small Island States. Moreover, the agency has provided Landlocked Developing States with safe, secure and rapid access to global suppliers and trade routes, providing local populations with more opportunities to life and work sustainably.

In 2019, ICAO will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the organization. New youth-oriented contests will take place throughout the year, aiming to inspire and motivate young people to pursue careers in the air transportation industry.

The Montreal-based agency was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst other priorities.

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