​Global air transport policy tends to portray a very segmented view, focusing on impediments and challenges in different aspects of the air transport sector (e.g. air navigation, ownership control etc.). ICAO aims for a more holistic policy approach with particular emphasis on the user.

Connectivity is based on the following concept:
Movement of passengers, mail and cargo involving the minimum of transit points which;
  • makes the trip as short as possible;

  • with optimal user satisfaction;

  • ​​​at the minimum price possible.​


In order to optimize connectivity; a strong supporting framework is needed. This includes, among other, market access (e.g. liberalization), optimal use of air navigations services (including ASBUs), aircraft, airport systems, facilitation and security, intermodality and airline activities.

ICAO has been contributing to improving connectivity in various areas (e.g. market access, consumer protection, etc.) by fosternig various initiatives within that framework. This includes, for example, the facilitation of international agreements to liberalize the current restrictions through policy and guidance material.

Market accessConnectivity

Economic development


​​ Connectivity brings concrete value
main purpose of air transport  
If conditions are met:
  • good end-user experience
  • more travel
  • more economic development
  • and hence more traffic growth

Connectivity is in line with
Chicago Convention Preamble
Civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically: 
Art. 44, d) "Meet the needs of the peoples of the world for safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport."

Sustainable Tourism

ICAO participates in cross-industry efforts to promote sustainable synergies between air transport and tourism:

  • It has a partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and 
  • through its cooperation in the framework of Uniting Travel​ with Airports Council International (ACI),  Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Economic Forum, (WEF), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

ICAO proposes to include a utilization rate of connectivity opportunities by air carriers as an indicator to measure the progress of policy development and effectiveness of the connectivity policy to promote sustainable tourism as mentioned. Download the document for more information.

ICAO is also supporting the introduction of aviation-related inputs into the proposed set of   UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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