ICAO European and North Atlantic Regional Office Celebrates 70 Years of Assisting States

ICAO’s Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (centre left) and Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu (left), joined France’s Director General of Civil Aviation Mr. Patrick Gandil (center right), ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Director Mr. Luis Fonseca de Almeida (right), and many other State officials and air transport dignitaries in Paris to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of its European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regional Office.

MONTRÉAL AND PARIS, 12 JULY 2016 – Major contributions over the last 70 years to the safety, security and sustainable development of international civil aviation, on behalf of  ICAO’s European and the North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regional Office, were celebrated in Paris by ICAO’s Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, and France’s Director General of Civil Aviation Mr. Patrick Gandil, and hundreds of other government and aviation sector guests.
“It is a great pleasure to be back in Paris, and especially for an occasion as joyous and significant as the celebration of this office’s 70th anniversary of historic service to international civil aviation,” declared ICAO’s Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “ICAO’s Paris Office serves no less than 56 States, and it could not accomplish this very significant mandate without the continuing generosity and unwavering commitment of the Government of France to its effective operations.”
ICAO’s Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, underlined to the assembled dignitaries how ICAO is working to strengthen the resources of all of its Regional Offices to better support the more effective implementation of ICAO’s Standards and Policies, and to meet the new challenges and responsibilities they are facing. “By strengthening our Regional Offices’ responsibilities and accountability, especially with respect to how they engage and coordinate directly with States, ICAO can better ensure seamless organizational coordination at both the global and regional levels. This process also aids the generation of the political will required to build capacity and promote and implement our key No Country Left Behind initiatives,” she stressed.
ICAO’s EUR/NAT Office has been instrumental to safely managing the technological progression to the first jet aircraft, and the complex introduction of the first supersonic transports. It has also been essential to the effective European cooperation established for flexible civil and military airspace use, and in helping to facilitate the liberalization transition from national airlines to privatized carriers.
“ICAO’s regional presence here in Paris is nothing short of essential to the effective coordination of safe, secure and reliable air services,” The Council President of ICAO  remarked. He also recognized that the work of all of its seven Regional Offices worldwide is becoming more important than ever to how the Organization plays its part in assuring the necessary cooperation to realize safe and reliable global air transport access for citizens and businesses everywhere.
“This further brings to mind that while Europe today is characterized by a number of strong and effective institutions in the domain of civil aviation, the governance structure of these bodies doesn’t permit them to be accredited to as many States, covering such a diverse and comprehensive geopolitical spectrum, as ICAO’s EUR/NAT Regional Office,” Dr. Aliu commented.
Secretary General Liu also noted the significant challenge in the EUR and NAT Regions “given the wide-ranging variation in the level of maturity of States’ civil aviation systems, traffic profiles and operational capabilities.”
ICAO’s EUR/NAT Regional Director, Mr. Luis Fonseca de Almeida, concluded that “Cooperation amongst States, international and regional organizations, and the aviation industry, is the only effective way to achieve continuous improvements in aviation – both at the regional and the global level. In order to better support States in aligning technical and operational outcomes, using their strategic inputs, it is necessary to reinvent ourselves and adapt our business model to the new challenges. The support of our regional stakeholders has been essential to our success in the EUR and NAT Regions over the past seven decades, and we will be counting on it even more in the years ahead.”
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