Advancing aviation standards and sustainability in the Asia Pacific Region


The 58th Conference of the Asia and Pacific Region (APAC) Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) provided a platform for discussions, cooperation, and key initiatives aimed at advancing aviation standards, sustainability and gender equality in the Asia Pacific region.

The Conference was held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 15 to 19 October, and was hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh. The Conference focused on the theme, "Advancing the ICAO Gender Equality Programme in collaboration with the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) initiative."

ICAO’s Council President and Secretary General participated at the event, with Mr. Sciacchitano and Mr. Salazar respectively being accompanied by ICAO’s Director of the Capacity Development and Implementation Bureau, Mr. Jorge Vargas; the Director of the Air Transport Bureau, Mr. Mohamed Rahma; the Director of the Air Navigation Bureau, Ms. Michele Merkle; and the Regional Director for the Asia Pacific Region, Mr. Tao Ma. Mr. Ma also served as the Secretary of the Conference proceedings. 

The 58th Asia and Pacific Region DGCA meeting attracted 321 participants from 37 States and Administrations, and 11 International Organizations.

During the opening session of the Conference, speeches were delivered by Mr. Md. Mahbub Ali, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of Bangladesh, Mr. Md. Mokammel Hossain, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of Bangladesh, Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council.

Expressing ICAO’s gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for its hosting of this highly significant regional conference, Council President Sciacchitano remarked “this is a precious opportunity to reiterate ICAO’s ongoing commitment and support to aviation development in the APAC region.”

In his address, ICAO Secretary General Salazar presented the ICAO Transformational Objective and highlighted the priority focus areas the Organization is now pursuing.

The Conference enabled the signing of several key new capacity development and implementation support agreements between ICAO and the governments of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and the Republic of the Philippines, covering support in the fields of aviation project management, training, provision of subject matter experts and procurement activities.

Coordinated through the ICAO Capacity Development and Implementation Bureau, in close coordination with ICAO’s APAC Regional Office in Bangkok, these activities reflect the expanding portfolio of ICAO products and services to support States with their current and emerging air transport development needs.

High-Level panel discussions moderated by the Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women, Dhaka, Dr. Rubana Huq featured a distinguished lineup of speakers,

Their engagement revolved around promoting gender equality in aviation by implementing deliberate hiring policies, fostering professional development opportunities, offering scholarships, improving salary and career prospects, and encouraging young people, especially girls, to pursue careers in aviation. Also emphasized was the need for greater advocacy for mentorship programmes, and the importance of industry support.

Discussions were also held on the Third Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 20-24 November 2023.

Other significant activities included meetings with students from aviation universities, namely, the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). The Secretary General provided them with an overview of ICAO, the organization’s cooperation with Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic, and priorities such as the decarbonizing aviation, the collective long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

On 16 October 2023, the President and the Secretary General met with the Honorable Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s ICAO membership.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled a special postal stamp on the occasion, symbolizing the deep and enduring ties between the two parties, and a special ceremony was held featuring the Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Mr. Md. Mahbub Ali; the Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Mr. Md. Mokammel Hossain; the Chairman of CAA Bangladesh, Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, and ICAO APAC Regional Director, Mr. Tao Ma.


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