Montréal, 29 April 2020 – In response to the serious impacts being felt across the international civil aviation sector as a result of COVID-19, and the need for wide-ranging government and industry coordination to help reconnect the world, representatives from the 36 countries on the Governing Council of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have established a new COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force.
The aim of the new Council Task Force will be to identify and recommend strategic priorities and policies for States and industry operators.
It will leverage all available government and industry data toward solutions to the immediate challenges being felt sector-wide, and the priorities to be addressed to reboot the network for a post-COVID world, and make it more resilient and responsive in the process.
“As we know, air connectivity is critical to economic and sustainable development in every region of the world. Consequently, an effective recovery of international air transport is essential to support the post COVID-19 pandemic worldwide economic recovery,” noted ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano as he addressed the first meeting of the Task Force today.
“We are not talking of a recovery after an international air transport crisis. International air transport has faced several crises in the past from which it was able to regain its position thanks to timely initiatives by ICAO. The progress achieved over the course of decades could be entirely erased if international air transport does not resume soon and effectively.”
“In these uncertain times and exceptional circumstances, ICAO is being called upon to rescue international air transport and facilitate the resumption of operations,” President Sciacchitano underscored in his remarks to the Task Force.
The new Council Task Force is composed of Council Members and high-level aviation industry representatives including the Directors General of all major air transport industry associations. UN entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are also represented, as well as the heads of several national and regional aviation administrations.
As Chairperson of the Council’s Air Transport Committee, Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Representative for France on the ICAO Council, was appointed by President Sciacchitano to serve as the Chairperson of the Task Force. Mr. Boubacar Djibo, Director of the ICAO Air Transport Bureau, will serve as its Secretary.
The Council expects the first outcome by the Task Force by the end of May 2020.
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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO 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 many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.
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