Advocacy and Public Outreach
ICAO is sensitizing partners to the importance of including aviation in appropriate national planning tools to increase the likelihood of being included in national budget exercises. By forging alliances with UN partners and non-governmental organizations, ICAO is seeking to support a change in attitudes and shift towards gender equality and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in support of air transport.
ICAO World Aviation Forum
ICAO convened the third World Aviation Forum (IWAF/3), “Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure”, from 20 to 22 November 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. The event, hosted by Nigeria in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency, was the first IWAF to be held outside of ICAO Headquarters. IWAF/3 was attended by more than 500 high-level participants from governments, development banks and international organizations, including Ministers responsible for civil aviation, transportation, planning and infrastructure development.
The primary objective of the IWAF/3 was to tackle the existing and future financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure and capacity development in Member States, especially in Africa.
The IWAF/3 was structured around a series of interactive panel discussions and business dialogue sessions in a business-oriented, result-based format. All the sessions had the active participation of high-level moderators and discussants, including Ministers and industry leaders, leading to tangible results which were reflected in the Outcome Documents, i.e. Concluding Communiqué and Declaration and Framework for a Plan of Action for Development of Aviation Infrastructure in Africa.
The IWAF participants recognized the need to make substantial investments over the long term in the development and modernization of quality aviation infrastructure commensurate with the level of predicted traffic growth. A series of panel discussions called for a holistic and transformative approach toward the aspirational goal of “no constraints of infrastructure capacity, technology and financial resources for aviation development.”
Declaration and Framework for a Plan of Action for Development of Aviation Infrastructure in Africa was formally adopted at the end of the Africa Day within the framework of the Lomé Plan of Action on Tourism (2017 – 2019) of the African Union (AU). The AUC was requested to submit this Declaration to the official mechanism of the AU for consideration and endorsement. The commitments made by African States and Regional Economic Communities to ensuring the inclusion of more well-defined aviation projects in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the next cycle of its Priority Action Plan for 2020 – 2030, as well as forging African economic cooperation and international assistance platforms such as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), were well received by participants.
By introducing a more business-oriented, result-based format, the IWAF/3 has evolved to a dialogue among high-level participants representing Member States, international and regional organizations, industry, the donor community, as well as multilateral development banks and other financial institutions to discuss and develop practical solutions and credible means to tackle financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure development and capacity-building.
The outcomes of the IWAF/3 as reflected in the Concluding Communiqué have set the required foundation for raising political willingness to mainstream the priorities of the aviation sector in the global, regional and national agenda. For the Africa Region, the implementation of the adopted
Declaration and Framework for a Plan of Action for Development of Aviation Infrastructure in Africa will be followed up.
Outreach and Communication
ICAO’s key messaging in 2017 was focused around a variety of aviation developmental issues, particularly in regard to how enhanced ICAO compliance helps States to subsequently realize a wide range of sustainable socio-economic benefits through increased global connectivity.
ICAO’s public outreach in support of the Dreams Soar initiative, the Third ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF/3) in Abuja, and the inaugural Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Global Summit were particular highlights in terms of public and media outreach. ICAO continued to extend its outreach in all six official languages to the extent permissible, and this effort was reflected in greater multilingual coverage of ICAO initiatives.
ICAO’s social media influence also continued to grow significantly thanks to increased outputs and enhanced strategic coordination with key international and external stakeholders. The three main social media accounts gained on average a combined 4 500 new followers per month throughout 2017. A salient example of ICAO’s social impact was International Civil Aviation Day — an event around which the key messaging received 138 700 impressions on Twitter alone, and hashtags used by all parties were exposed to users over 7 million times.
The Communications Unit, in conjunction with the ICT Web Unit, also realized a completely redesigned ICAO public website in 2017, and launched a major review and updating cycle of all public-facing content supported directly by the Secretary General.
The crafting of speeches on behalf of ICAO’s most senior officials increased 16 per cent in 2017 versus 2016, and the influence of these texts was enhanced through the deployment of a variety of traditional and social media outreach strategies.
This contributed to ICAO’s continued attraction of a high level of positive coverage in the international and local media, particularly in terms of the Organization’s contributions to the development of aviation safety, security, environmental responsibility, and air connectivity in general.