MIAMI – Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar of Colombia officially assumed the office of ICAO Secretary General yesterday. He succeeds Dr. Fang Liu of China.

The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It was created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Nations have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices presented through ICAO. These standards and practices help to regulate aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity, and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to exist.

“It is a great honor to assume this role at this time, and to help governments and ICAO play an important part in how this sector builds back better and recovers from the global pandemic,” Mr. Salazar commented. “We are still facing some tremendous challenges to the restoration of global air connectivity. And many regions and populations all over the world face prolonged economic, social, and emotional hardship as a result.”

Experienced Aviation Administrator

Secretary Salazar was formerly Director General of Civil Aviation for Colombia. He speaks fluent Spanish, English, French, and basic Arabic. He has worked in civil aviation, public policy, and the management of large and complex organizations for more than 26 years.

As Secretary General, he plans to work closely with the ICAO Council to further strengthen the agency’s governance and ethical framework, to review the organizational structure of the Secretariat, to build a digital transformation program, and to modernize the working methods of the Organization to keep pace with aviation innovation. 

Salazar is also keen on increasing the ICAO’s global presence through its regional offices and focusing on regional priorities. ICAO maintains regional offices in Bangkok, Cairo, Dakar, Paris, Nairobi, and Mexico City.

The Secretary General has promised that the ICAO will undertake special efforts to support developing States that have suffered the most devastating impacts of the pandemic. The Organization will also focus on supporting Member States in the implementation of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) and other carbon offsetting activities and initiatives. 

Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Terminals.Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Welcoming Message

“The ICAO Council is very pleased to welcome Mr. Salazar as he officially assumes his new role. As Council President I look forward to working closely with him in helping to modernize ICAO and make it a more responsive and efficient agency at the service of its 193 Member States,” noted ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

The President also extended the Council’s sincere appreciation to the previous ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, recognizing her dedication and contributions to ICAO during her two terms as Secretary General.

Featured image: ICAO Council Chamber. Photo: Apetrov09703, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons