Opening the 219th ICAO Council session, this week Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano opened his first session as the new President of the UN aviation agency’s Governing Body. He expressed his gratitude for the support and trust that States had placed in him as Council President, and stressed his full commitment “to honoring this trust by ensuring that ICAO leadership effectively supports the safe, secure and sustainable development of international civil aviation, in a spirit of cooperation and consensus-building among all stakeholders.”
The Council will be sitting through 20 March in order to review an ambitious agenda, a major highlight of which will be its discussions and expected agreement on the eligible emission units to be included under the ICAO CORSIA offsetting framework for international flights.
In addition to extensive topics regarding its oversight of the work programme and budgeting of the ICAO Secretariat, as assigned to ICAO by its Triennial Assembly, the Council will also be making use of its 219th sitting to review response measures taken by the aviation industry to deal with public health emergencies of international concern, and an update on ICAO coordination activities related to COVID-19 and its economic impact on civil aviation.
Sixteen amendments to existing standards to improve the safety, capacity and efficiency, and environmental performance of civil aviation will also be reviewed, as well as several developments relating to the actions to be undertaken in the aftermath of the accident involving Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 on 8 January of this year.
At yesterday’s opening session, Mr. Sciacchitano recalled the moment of silence which had been held for the accident’s victims during a Council briefing on the topic in its immediate aftermath, and drew attention to the fact that Council would shortly be reviewing “intiatives that could be taken by ICAO on risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones.”
In addition, he highlighted that Canada would be presenting a new working paper to Council on Risks to civil aviation in conflict zones: a safer skies initiative and next steps for ICAO, noting that the Representatives of the Ukraine to ICAO would be present at that meeting as well.