MIAMI – This year’s International Civil Aviation day anniversary will be regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of the global civil aviation industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unparalleled loss of jobs, income, and air connectivity, underpinning sustainable development, and a vast number of humanitarian initiatives around the world, according to ICAO.

At this unique moment in the history of international aviation, Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council, and Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary-General of the ICAO, join Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in highlighting the important goals of air transport facing the world at this juncture in time.

ICAO’s theme for such an occasion is centered on innovation and development within the industry. Below are the organization’s goals going forward in 2021 and beyond. The text has not been modified.

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“Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”


A commitment to innovation has always been at the heart of aviation, and it has been instrumental to the continuous performance improvements countries have realized, through ICAO, for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and the economic and environmental sustainability of international operations.

Innovation will also be at the heart of our recovery strategies and partnerships as we build back better post-pandemic, establishing a renewed global network that is greener and more resilient in the face of future pandemic threats, and more dependable in terms of the significant socio-economic benefits which air connectivity delivers to modern societies.

Today, the ICAO Council, including its Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce, continues to encourage innovative and prudent measures to help countries respond to and ultimately recover from COVID-19. This work is being supported by the ICAO Secretariat, which has been innovating its own special adjustments to global aviation standards to keep vital operations possible, and establishing dedicated pandemic resources and monitoring tools to keep countries effective and coordinated in their air transport responses.

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Together these actions are keeping crucial air cargo supply chains functioning when the world needs them most, facilitating the provision of vital humanitarian and repatriation air services to bring families back together, helping to protect passengers and air crew each and every day, and are being heavily relied upon to move vaccines and other perishable and high-value goods.

Looking forward to a post-pandemic world, innovation will be at the very heart of the new era in aviation which is now dawning, and to the advances in autonomous aircraft, renewable power and propulsion sources, sub-orbital flight, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, big data, blockchain, and many other exciting developments which are changing the face of flight as we know it.

Success in such efforts has always relied on a worldwide commitment to the standardization, harmonization, and cooperation which countries and industry achieve together at ICAO. These duties and capabilities are more important than ever today, as we confront together the dual challenges of controlling COVID-19, and mitigating the incredibly severe socio-economic effects it has led to by restricting air connectivity for both developed and developing societies.


Featured image: IATA already urged governments to implement ICAO’s COVID-19 guidelines. Photo: ICAO.