MONTRÉAL, 13 December 2012 ─ The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) 2012 Air Services Negotiation Conference (ICAN 2012) concluded yesterday with participating States signing a total of 130 new air services agreements.
Held this year in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the 8–12 December ICAN was hosted by the General Authority of Civil Aviation and brought together over 350 air service negotiators from 62 States, representing every world region. Over 350 meetings were held during the five-day event.
“The ICAN process and its continuing success clearly demonstrates that ICAO is best positioned to provide this type of service to our Member States,” stressed ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. “Traditionally, States would have to travel to each of their partner nations to conduct these types of negotiations. The ICAN setting provides for a far more efficient and cost-effective venue allowing for regional, plurilateral or multilateral negotiations.”
ICAN agreements provide the basis for expanding market access and route connectivity between States, which in turn, bring benefits to consumers and contribute to the development of local communities and wider economic interests of the countries concerned.
The attending delegates highly commended ICAO for continuing to provide the ICAN forum and praised the event’s excellent networking opportunities. They also expressed their gratitude for the special ICAN seminar session which allows participants to learn about latest trends and developments in air transport, discover related ICAO policies and guidance and exchange information.
“We take great pride in hosting this ICAN event in our country,” commented His Highness Prince Turki Bin Faisal, Chairman of the closing session. “It benefits not only Saudi Arabia but also all participating States, as its results will help the development of air transport services and promote friendship and understanding between peoples of the world.”
“ICAO’s efforts have provided a convenient platform to facilitate aviation relations and improve air links and services between States such as Kuwait” said Mr. Fawaz Al-Farah, Director General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait. His country signed a total of 11 agreements at ICAN 2012, seven of which involved open skies arrangements.
“The United States has participated in all five ICANs to date, and we found it provides tremendously valuable opportunities for meeting partners around the world,” echoed Mr. Wendell Albright, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Aviation Negotiations. “I congratulate ICAO and the host for organizing this successful event.”