Managing the Forecast Doubling of Flight and Passenger Volumes Safely, Securely, Efficiently and Sustainably

In the 1970s, there were slightly more than 10 million departures per year on scheduled services worldwide. Today, we're at over 33 million, and by 2030 we are projecting over 60 million annual aircraft movements, or roughly 200,000 per day.


What these projections help us to recognize is that our global network is faced with an urgent need for new or upgraded infrastructure, more efficient air navigation systems, additional professionals in all categories, and adjustments in regulations and policies.


ICAO's first priority, as always, is to maintain or enhance aviation Safety and Efficiency as this growth proceeds, and to constantly seek to reduce aircraft accidents in every part of the world. We also need to work with States and partner organizations to efficiently manage the increasing congestion in the skies and at airports, particularly in high-density regions where capacity is at, or nearing, saturation points.


The key tools we have realized to address these challenges are our complementary Global Plans for Aviation Safety and Air Navigation, the GASP and the GANP. In the near-term, the GASP calls for States to realize minimum 60% effective safety oversight capabilities by 2017. For the mid-term, the emphasis is on State Safety Programmes and Safety Management Systems, while the long-term objective is for the implementation of more predictive safety risk management systems.


The Global Plan for Air Navigation provides capacity and efficiency-related implementation targets, as outlined in significant detail in the Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) agreed to by States and industry. Its targets are prioritized in relation to operational improvements, with deliverables that incorporate all of the necessary regulatory provisions, procedures, technologies and training requirements.


As with Safety and Efficiency, the Security of passengers and crews, as well as persons on the ground, must be another key priority. And, as news headlines keep reminding us, the threat of terrorism and other acts of unlawful interference is a reality we continue to live with, while new and emerging threats such as cybersecurity help us to remain aware that effective aviation security requires constant vigilance and innovation. Finding an optimal balance between security and facilitation is key to all of these goals.


We must also guide and assist the liberalization of the air transport industry as our network expands, and to keep innovating to reduce our environmental footprint, through a basket of measures, aspirational targets, and even more energy-efficient aircraft that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise at airports.


Our mission as an Organization flows from this vision, and we are committed, together with our global partners, to assist Member States in responding to the rapidly evolving technological, regulatory and economic developments brought about by the quickening pace of growth and globalization.

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