Preparing airports for tomorrow’s international civil aviation network

ICAO guidance and assistance can play a key role in assisting airports with the transformation of their operations to accommodate today’s safety, security and sustainability priorities and tomorrow’s technologies. Addressing Ministers of government and industry leaders at Airport Council International (ACI)’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC)/World Annual General Assembly, ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar underscored that this internationally aligned and coordinated transformation for airports will be  crucial to accelerating and optimizing global aviation’s broader recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, and essential to delivering greater resiliency.

The Secretary General delivered a keynote address in the presence of Ministers, airport operators and aviation authorities on the topic of “Reconnecting aviation for a sustainable future”, highlighting various challenges airports face in the changing environment of COVID-19 recovery and the importance of ICAO contributions in those areas. 

Airport certification, safety management systems, runway safety, and the roll-out of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) to optimise the use of available airport and airspace capacity are among the issues that the Secretary General outlined as priorities for LAC airports and regulators today. Looking at the global level and to the future, he pointed to prioritizing and ensuring safety as operations recover, modernizing the passenger experience to address both public health and aviation security considerations, and preparing adequately for tomorrow’s technologies, including unmanned, remotely-piloted, and space flights.

In all instances, the Secretary General illustrated the ICAO planning, standardization, and assistance underpinning global progress towards these goals, noting that international and cross-sector cooperation is of critical importance to their implementation.

A ceremony for graduates of the ICAO-ACI Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP) provided an additional opportunity to communicate these priorities directly to the professionals who will be executing them.

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