MONTRÉAL, 26 November 2013 − Joining many in the global aviation and diplomatic communities as they continue to congratulate and bid farewell to outgoing ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González, air transport industry operators came together at ICAO on 22 November to honour the UN Organization’s senior diplomat for his tremendous contributions over the last seven years to the sustainable development of international aviation.
Outgoing ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González (centre), receives a special award from CANSO DG, Jeff Poole (far left), ACI DG, Angela Gittens (second from left), IATA DG, Tony Tyler (second from right). The group is joined by ICAO Council President-elect, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria (far right).
IATA Director General, Tony Tyler said, “No matter what the issue, IATA and its airlines have always been able to count on President Kobeh’s natural inclination for collaboration as the cornerstone on which to build viable and sustainable global aviation solutions. Roberto’s eagerness to listen to industry on all matters of strategic global importance to our sector, including most recently IATA’s four pillar strategy on climate change commitment, has been tremendously helpful in progressing collaborative solutions to our shared air transport priorities.”
Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI, said, “Since President Kobeh was elected Council President in 2006, international passenger traffic has grown tremendously and so have the complexity of issues faced by civil aviation. Under his leadership, ICAO has consistently risen to the many challenges along our shared path and Mr. Kobeh has made invaluable inroads, not only advancing civil aviation for the benefit of communities worldwide, but also in bringing aviation’s many players around the same table with a renewed passion to work side-by-side, day-in and day-out.”
Jeff Poole, Director General CANSO, said, “At ICAO, President Kobeh faced many challenges in international civil aviation with diplomacy, patience as well as firmness, drive, charm and enthusiasm. He successfully built consensus on issues that would have defeated most people, such as on aviation and the environment and on improvements in aviation safety. Roberto brought to the role not only his broad knowledge of the aviation industry, but also his expertise and experience in air traffic management (ATM) through his 20 years as Director General of Mexico’s ANSP, now called SENEAM.”
The special commemorative farewell was marked by a luncheon jointly hosted by the three Directors General. It was attended by over 80 guests, including ICAO Council President-elect Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria, as well as many other ICAO and air transport sector senior officials.
Kobeh continues to serve as President until the end of 2013 and Nigeria’s Aliu, recently elected by acclamation, officially takes over the office on 1 January 2014.