The latest edition of the World Civil Aviation Report is now available!


This week we launched the 2023 edition of ICAO’s World Civil Aviation Report. Our flagship publication reviews the state of the aviation industry through the lens of global aviation experts and includes key air transport and safety and security statistics. The latest edition of the World Civil Aviation Report highlights the ongoing innovations and transformations in the air transport sector, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation to address global concerns, particularly in achieving net zero carbon emissions and promoting sustainability in aviation. The report also discusses the role of sustainable aviation fuels, digitalization, and the need for collaboration to advance international civil aviation. Our Secretary General, Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar, addresses this content in his opening in the publication. We are sharing his insight, here.

Innovating our Sustainable Future

This latest edition of the ICAO World Civil Aviation Report reveals some of the incredible transformations now occurring in air transport, and reconfirms the role of international cooperation in driving important global progress in key areas of current concern.

It also reflects a civil aviation sector which continues to expand and innovate at the service of people and businesses all over the world, within the context of rapid technological and process evolution, and a new public/private global consensus to assure the long-term sustainability of air transport operations.

The goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for international aviation, which has now been adopted by both the aviation industry and world governments, is a significant journey that is only just beginning. Its achievement will rely on multiple CO2 emissions reduction measures, with countries having formally recognized that the largest potential impact on near-term aviation CO2 emissions reduction will be derived from sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and lower carbon aviation fuels (LCAF), in addition to cleaner energy sources.

The tremendous potential of SAF to contribute to aviation’s emission reduction goal is counter-balanced today by the just as significant challenge we face to scale up its development and distribution as quickly as possible.

ICAO is therefore fostering international partnerships and cooperation, and actively engaging with financial institutions such as development banks, private equity entities, and fuel producers to help spur the needed investment and development now required.

ICAO Member States clearly understand the need for greater partnership and engagement between the air transport and finance communities, and earlier this year it was my honour to join the ICAO Council for an in depth briefing on the actions and outcomes now needed to achieve NetZero2050, together with the Air Transport Action Group and six international development banks.

While SAF production and deployment will be an important near-term priority for the greening of international aviation, in the mid-to-longer term we should begin to see some very substantial emissions reduction contributions arising from the cutting edge innovations now taking place in aeronautics, propulsion and energy storage, materials sciences, and many other areas of science and technology.

This brings to mind the significant developments now arising in terms of the digitalization of civil aviation processes and operations, a number of which are explored in the Innovation and Technology and Security and Facilitation sections of this year’s World Civil Aviation Report.

Digitalization is also impacting our capabilities and global priorities in the aviation safety and air navigation domains, and when considered holistically we’re reminded that this wide-reaching aviation transformation carries with it important digital trust and cybersecurity components – topics also covered in detail in this year’s edition.

While there is no shortage of innovation today in any area of international air transport and aeronautical development, as a standards developing agency, ICAO recognizes that it has its own significant role to play in assuring that its processes and procedures don’t impede our sector’s progress and achievements, and in holistically aligning its implementation support and capacity-building offerings to offer improved products and services for its Member States.

This is a challenge I take full responsibility for as the organization’s Secretary General, and I have been greatly encouraged by the buy-in and progress achieved to-date among staff and senior management, and by the close and supportive partnership of the ICAO Council.

As ICAO World Civil Aviation Reports are designed to provide the highest level air transport readership with a uniquely comprehensive perspective on the status and progress of international air transport, this year’s edition accordingly also touches on some important current topics regarding airline ownership and control, infrastructure modernization and financing, the economic regulatory aspects of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and a great deal more.

We hope, through this new edition, that we can expand your perspective and focus your insight into some of the most exciting and thought-provoking challenges our sector has ever confronted, and that it leaves every reader with a very clear sense of how cooperation and collaboration continue to be the most critical foundations for meaningful and sustainable progress in international civil aviation. The Report is available by accessing the free version through the link on the banner below.