ICAO and IFAR reach cooperation agreement on aviation innovation

​Montréal, 7 April 2022 – ICAO and the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) will scale-up their cooperation and information sharing to promote innovation through a new agreement concluded in Montréal this week.

The agreement was signed on the occasion of a high-level meeting between the Secretary General, the President of the ICAO Council and Council members and IFAR Principals. Both parties acknowledged the need for the independent assessment of innovations to frame and protect the notion of general interest, within the context of a variety of transformative changes within the aviation industry. 
Focusing on the promotion of the innovative and sustainable development of international civil aviation globally, the Memorandum of Understanding calls for ICAO and IFAR to cooperate toward their respective safety, security, and sustainability goals, and collaborate on the scientific assessment of new avenues for innovation.

“This new ICAO-IFAR agreement will be transformative in permitting the research community to participate in a more dynamic and effective manner with ICAO,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “Monitoring and understanding the impact of technological and process innovations is a pre-requisite to effectively supporting States in the establishment of related international guidance.”

The exponential growth in the number of aviation innovators across the world will help the sector make the generational changes needed to meet the critical emissions reduction commitments and address the sustainability challenges the industry faces, including air space congestion, reopening of borders, digitization, liberalization and resilience against future crises. Thus allowing international aviation to become a stronger vector for peace, growth and prosperity for all.

The dynamic evolution of the aviation ecosystem represents a tremendous opportunity for society as a whole, but it also raises challenges for standard setting and regulatory bodies to fully grasp and contextualize the emerging frontier technologies and capabilities.

With the aviation sector contributing directly towards 15 of the 17 UN Agenda 2030 sustainable developments goals, the support provided by  the agreement will help ensure that these innovations contribute fully to aviation’s broader role as a catalyst for sustainable development worldwide. 



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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Since that time, countries have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices through ICAO which help to align their national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realized. ICAO forums also provide opportunities for advice and advocacy to be shared with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognized air transport stakeholders.

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