ICAO’s inaugural Innovation Fair highlights critical importance of new R&D to aviation safety, security, sustainability

​Top: EHang displays its 216 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle outside ICAO Headquarters. Middle: Uber Elevate offers Innovation Fair attendees a virtual reality experience of its planned air taxi services. Bottom: Bell Textron presents its emerging drone technology.

Montréal, 22 September 2019 – Opening ICAO’s first ever Innovation Fair in Montréal today, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu highlighted the critical importance of new technologies to the continued safety, security, and sustainability of flight. 

“Our sector has survived and thrived because of its ability to adapt to new technologies and to new expectations from global societies, and it must continue to do so today,” Dr. Aliu said, noting that the UN Climate Action Summit provided particular emphasis on environmental issues. 

“Through this Innovation Fair and UN Climate Summit, together with our upcoming discussions at the 40th Assembly, we can realize together an even stronger foundation for ICAO Member States to build upon, and send a strong signal to the world that the international aviation community is leveraging its historic ability to cooperate and to innovate toward more ambitious long term emissions objectives for international aviation,” he underscored. 

The ICAO Innovation Fair attracted some of the most innovative heavyweights in the traditional aviation industry together with many new entrants, some of whom are redefining how we conceive of flight and powered aerial operations. Prototypes of their cutting-edge products were on display for the attending business and regulatory leaders, including Ministers of Transport, to review. 

“The new aircraft and flight capabilities being realized today hold the promise of being able to deliver completely new frameworks for how modern societies support and help their populations to survive, and to thrive, and so understandably ICAO’s Member States are very eager for us to engage with you,” Dr. Aliu declared to the audience of senior officials and entrepreneurs. “I’m therefore encouraged that we see on display here not only new hardware solutions, and new aircraft models and types, but also proposals for how the aviation software backbone will be improved through the introduction of new Artificial Intelligence and blockchain solutions, and even in some instances how regulators can innovate in order to interface with you more effectively and efficiently.” 

The ICAO Innovation Fair is running concurrently to the Fifth ICAO World Aviation Forum in the two-day lead-up to ICAO’s 40th Assembly where close to 3,000 aviation officials are expected to attend. 

The Innovation Fair is open to accredited media and will conclude on 23 September 2019. 

Resources for Editors 

About ICAO 

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States. 

ICAO Innovation Fair 

ICAO World Aviation Forum 


Anthony Philbin 

Chief, Communications 


+1 514-954-8220 

+1 438-402-8886 (mobile) 

Twitter: @ICAO 

William Raillant-Clark 

Communications Officer 


+1 514-954-6705 

+1 514-409-0705 (mobile) 

Twitter: @wraillantclark 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/raillantclark/

Share this page: