Message from the President of the Council

Message from the President of the Council


Taken together with the Supplement to this report, the Annual Report of the Council to the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly illustrates ICAO’s response to the greatest challenge ever faced by the international civil aviation sector and the critical role the Organization has played in coordinating a sustainable recovery for the global flight system.


Thanks in no small part to the elaboration and implementation of the Recommendations of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), we are emerging from the worst of the impacts of the pandemic to find ourselves in an incredible phase of aeronautical and digital development, sparked at least partially by the exigencies of the pandemic crisis itself.


The momentum behind this phase is anchored in innovation and resilience, themes which must be front of mind for States and operators at this Assembly if we are to augment and fully benefit from this unique conjuncture.


We must consider how this phase can further augment our traditional strategic objectives for safety, security, efficiency and sustainability, and reflect on ways to assure digital capability and capacity amongst all States and stakeholders so that no countries are left behind as this wave continues to transform international aviation.


These discussions will take place within the context of the precipitous decline in air traffic resulting in severe liquidity strains, which have cascaded down throughout the air transport value chain with dire repercussions for many travel and tourism markets.


It is vital for governments and industry to take coordinated actions to stabilize and support the maintaining of air connectivity, while staying acutely aware that subsidies can also distort markets and have unintended consequences on competition.


It is equally vital to respond to the significant and urgent challenge to aggressively decrease air transport emissions as we work to restore traffic growth. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for all means of transport to realize net-zero emissions by 2050, and aviation operators have now answered his call with detailed plans and aggressive targets.


The ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP)’s Report on the feasibility of a long-term aspirational goal (LTAG) for international civil aviation CO2 emission reductions will inform discussions on an LTAG resolution at the 41st Assembly, which must fully support the pursuit of all avenues towards decarbonization.


We must also enhance the aviation system’s resilience in the face of the economic, big data and medical implications of future pandemic events to ensure a shutdown of this kind never happens again.


The Report provided by the Council outlines the work undertaken to date; however, looking forward, it will primarily be the Assembly that will deliver the transformations that must happen, which is why we are advocating for robust and ambitious resolutions covering all areas of ICAO’s strategic objectives.


The 41st Assembly is an opportunity for all Contracting States to support the Council and Secretariat’s current, and very critical, efforts to transform and rejuvenate our Organization, to meet the air transport challenges of today and tomorrow.



Salvatore Sciacchitano

President of the ICAO Council

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