ICAO and World Food Programme to enhance support for humanitarian air services

​The Secretary General of ICAO, Juan Carlos Salazar (right), and the United Nations World Food Programme ‘s (WFP) Aviation Director, Phillippe Martou (left) entered a new landmark collaboration agreement today aimed at advancing civil aviation safety, efficiency, and sustainability in humanitarian operations. The signing ceremony was attended by ICAO’s Director for Technical Cooperation, Jorge Vargas.

Seoul and Montréal, 1 June 2023 - ICAO and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) entered a new landmark collaboration agreement today aimed at advancing civil aviation safety, efficiency, and sustainability in humanitarian operations.

This strategic partnership, forged under the auspices of the ICAO Global Implementation Support Symposium currently taking place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, will focus on key areas of cooperation to ensure safer and more sustainable aviation operations, particularly in the context of humanitarian air services.

“By combining our expertise and resources, ICAO and the WFP aim to create a safer, more efficient, and environmentally responsible aviation industry,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar, after signing the Memorandum of Understanding. “This partnership underscores our shared commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced in humanitarian air services.”

One of the primary objectives of this collaboration is to strengthen States' safety and security oversight capabilities, which will have the additional benefit of heightening reliability. Improving infrastructure and systems performance at aerodromes will be another focal point of this collaboration, which will help ensure smoother and more efficient operations for humanitarian activities.

The collaboration also places significant emphasis on enhancing civil aviation security and facilitation capacity, particularly in small aerodromes, contributing to the safety and seamlessness of operations, even in challenging and remote environments.

Environmental sustainability is also a key focus, with a view to decarbonizing air operations through the adoption of advanced technologies, the implementation of operational improvements, and the exploration cleaner energy sources. The collaboration will focus on building resilience in aerodromes to effectively respond to climate-related extreme events. By incorporating climate adaptation strategies and resilient infrastructure planning, ICAO and WFP aim to ensure the continuity and reliability of aviation services, even in the face of adverse weather conditions.
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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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