Flight Safety Foundation award highlights ICAO's COVID-19 pandemic response and leadership

Montréal and Washington, DC, 22 June 2022 – In recognition of the leadership and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic realized by the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) conferred its inaugural Richard Teller Crane Founder’s Award upon the Organization at a special ceremony in Washington last night.

“From the outset of the pandemic, ICAO recognized that a successful recovery and restart would be best supported by a well-coordinated international approach and by the Council establishing a task force,” remarked FSF President and CEO Hassan Shahidi. 

“As the pandemic continued and virus variants emerged, the ICAO task force updated its recommendations and guidance and worked to mitigate the devastation of the pandemic.”

The award was received by the President of the ICAO Council, Salvatore Sciacchitano, on behalf of the Organization and the many other international experts from States and across the air transport industry who contributed so tirelessly to the global aviation response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through the ICAO CART, which was established in April 2020, ICAO has forged partnerships with a wide array of stakeholders to address pandemic-related challenges in aviation, providing coordinated international guidance to regulators towards ensuring the continued provision of essential services, and accelerating and optimizing the safe, secure and sustainable restart of all air transport operations.

“All of the major industry trade bodies were instrumental in assuring the speed and effectiveness of its recommendations, and the dedication and solidarity of our global community was clearly apparent throughout the three distinct Phases of global guidance issued by the CART during the pandemic period,” President Sciacchitano remarked. 

“With our efforts much more focused now on managing the safe and rapid recovery of global air traffic, the closer coordination we established between civilian and commercial stakeholders during the pandemic will now be deeply relied upon as we build this sector back better for a post-pandemic world.”

The Richard Teller Crane Founder’s Award is named in honour of an FSF founder and entrepreneur who played a critical leadership role in the early days of the Flight Safety Foundation. The award recognizes an organization for sustained corporate leadership through lasting contributions to civil aviation.

The CART’s critical role has also been recognized by ICAO’s Member States. The Ministerial Declaration resulting from the ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19, which was adopted in October 2021 in the presence of over 50 Ministers and Deputy Ministers, is of particular note. This Declaration places the implementation of the CART recommendations and guidelines at the heart of the global vision for aviation recovery, resilience and sustainability. 



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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency which helps 193 countries to cooperate together and share their skies to their mutual benefit. 

Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination has helped countries to diplomatically and technically realize a uniquely rapid and dependable network of global air mobility, connecting families, cultures, and businesses all over the world, and promoting sustainable growth and socio-economic prosperity wherever aircraft fly.

As it enters a new era of digitization, and of incredible new flight and propulsion innovations, air transport is relying more than ever on ICAO’s expert support and technical and diplomatic guidance to help chart a new and exciting future for international flight. ICAO is innovating itself to answer this call, and expanding its partnerships among UN and technical stakeholders to deliver a strategic global vision and effective, sustainable solutions.

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