ICAO Day: Reinforcing importance of Air Travel, ICAO’s unique role

…..as Nigeria lists growth pre and post Covid

The International Civil Aviation Day is set aside by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to celebrate the impact civil aviation has had on the world. 

It is a fact that without air travel, social and business activities will be difficult, if not impossible.

To continue to improve on the activities, ICAO in every three or four years comes up with different themes to commemorate the day and draw attention to certain critical areas for the sustainability of the industry.

Our Aviation Correspondent Nosa Aituamen on this year’s celebration which holds under the theme ‘Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development’, takes a look at the essence of the day and the development of air transport industry in Nigeria.

Benefits and ICAO’s Contributions 

Globally, people can travel by air in safety and comfort to different states and continents within minutes and few hours either for business or leisure.

This movement has brought about cultural exchange, business alliances, tourism boost, job creation and huge revenue generation.

It has also enhanced emergency and humanitarian response capabilities during crises and public health emergencies.

To continue to enjoy the benefits accruing from civil aviation, the United Nation’s body that oversees air travel, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has put in place standards and recommended practices for safe, secure and profitable industry for member states.

Secretary General, ICAO, Juan Carlo Salazar during his visit to Nigeria emphasized that Ivan’s priorities are reduction in Co2 emission, full recovery of air transport and resilience of the industry to future pandemics.

“This will require us to focus and deliver on our fully digital and improve on passenger experience and one which seriously integrate digital passenger security, healthful status and border control system overseen by government”.

The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is not only meant to bolster global attention of the importance of international civil aviation to social and economic development of States but also to highlight ICAO’s special role in helping States to cooperate and realize seamless connectivity.

Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu says, the African-Indian Ocean plan, AFI Plan, for Africa is one of ICAO’s ideas to boosting global aviation development.

“These programmes over the years has seen the tremendous improvement in both safety, security facilitation in many African countries”.

With modern airplanes that consume less fuel, eco-friendly, bigger with appealing configuration, use of drones which has become a part of civil aviation, new machine readable passports and the introduction of new equipment for health purposes due to pandemic are some of the innovations that are sustaining the sector.

An aviation analyst, Mr. Babatunde Adeniji speaks on Nigeria’s contributions to global aviation development.

“We have nominated as members of ICAO council for the fifteenth consecutive time, we have Dr. Bernard Aliu as the president of that council, two consecutive term, investing human and material resources”.

Nigeria’s industry growth

Globally, it is a well known fact that aviation doubles every fifteen years but in the case of Nigeria, the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika says, it has more than doubled and in another fifteen years, it will quadruple.

He cited increase in the number of airports, airlines and statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

“According to NBS, aviation became the fastest growing sector of the economy pre-covid and during covid, the third fastest growing sector and after covid according to Airport Council International, ACI, we are at a 111% of pre-covid numbers. Apart from Colombia we are the only country on earth that recovered so fast and we have added even 11% of pre-covid numbers”.

In ensuring no one and country is left behind in benefitting from the global industry’s development, all stakeholders and partners are urged to display the highest level of commitment and work for a safe, secured, accessible, efficient and resilient industry.

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