MONTRÉAL, 6 December 2013 – To celebrate International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD) for 2013, an occasion which helps to commemorate the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 7 December 1944, the UN civil aviation body announced today that the 2013 ICAD theme has been confirmed by its Governing Council as:
  
Evolving to Meet the Challenges of 21st Century Air Transport
 
“This theme recognizes the significant re-evaluations which ICAO and the entire air transport sector are now undertaking, as aviation seeks to forge wider consensus and practical strategic planning to address its imminent challenges,” remarked ICAO’s Council President, Roberto Kobeh González.
 
And those challenges will be many. In line with aviation’s historic role as a critical driver of economic and social development, the global air transport network is presently projected to double in size by 2030. This means that the 30 million flights it now manages annually will grow to 60 million over the next 16 years, while the total annual passengers served will rise to 6 billion from today’s 3 billion.
 
For ICAO, air transport’s evolution will have important impacts on all of its key areas of strategic priority, which were recently confirmed by the 38th ICAO Assembly as: Safety; Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency; Security and Facilitation; the Economic Development of Air Transport; and Environmental Protection.
 
Accordingly, ICAO’s ongoing Safety and Air Navigation global plan roll-outs, the fostering of more effective, affordable and therefore sustainable security and facilitation solutions, its revisions to applicable economic policy tools and frameworks and its progress on a varied range of environmental programmes will all play important roles in how the UN agency continues to evolve for its States over the near-term.
 
The 2013 theme is also seen as supporting ICAO’s ongoing formalization of more comprehensive, cooperative ties with relevant stakeholders in support of its global goals, in addition to reinforcing the realities of the contemporary public sector funding environment and the Organization’s fine-tuning of its internal operations to become more efficient.
 
“Innovation, imagination and flexibility will be critical to our internal and external success as we continue to adapt to a very rapidly changing world,” stressed ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin. “And ICAO is well on its way to establishing these values as permanent aspects of our working and planning environments.”
 
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Background notes for editors:
 
ICAO Assembly Resolution A29-1 (1994) first declared 7 December International Civil Aviation Day.
 
Pursuant to a further ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Government of Canada, in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly recognized
7 December as International Civil Aviation Day through an official resolution.