Driving progress in key economic development priorities for air transport


Decisions in the area of Economic Development of Air Transport at ICAO’s 40th Assembly this year endorsed that the UN agency should continue to promote the important socio-economic benefits of air transport.

Related objectives regarding the ICAO work programme for new aviation infrastructure/system financing, and the economics of airports and air navigation services, were also supported.

Concerning the taxation of international air transport, the Assembly agreed to urge States to assess any related national objectives in accordance with ICAO’s policies, and to conduct appropriate cost-benefit analyses before the introduction of taxes on air transport.

The Assembly also endorsed a range of items supporting the ICAO Long-term Vision for International Air Transport Liberalization. Specific work items in this area included forging a more detailed understanding of the benefits of liberalization and barriers to opening market access, both in terms of passenger and cargo services. The Assembly also called for the continuation of ICAO’s work to develop a Convention on Foreign Investment in Airlines.

“These endorsements by our Member States will be essential to how ICAO continues to raise global awareness on the important links between air connectivity and sustainable socio-economic development,” stressed ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. “And I was also encouraged that the momentum toward greater air transport liberalization continues to accelerate.”

With respect to ICAO’s work in developing robust aviation data, monitoring and analysis, the Assembly endorsed new objectives for ICAO in the areas of statistics, big data analytics, forecasting and economic analysis, and the development of an aviation satellite account methodological framework.

In terms of global air transport consumer protection, the Assembly encouraged States to apply the ICAO Core Principles on consumer protection in their regulatory practices, and urged them to sign and ratify the Montreal Convention of 1999. It was also agreed that ICAO should facilitate an exchange of views and good practices regarding the application of the ICAO Core Principles.

The Assembly also agreed that ICAO should provide technical expertise and support for the implementation of the Ministerial Declaration and Framework for a Plan of Action for Air Transport and Tourism Development in Africa, and furthermore that it should establish a new Global Aviation Competitiveness Index.

Another development relating to aviation’s positive economic impacts at this year’s Assembly involved the release of the new edition of the Industry High-level Group’s Aviation Benefits report.