A message from ICAO’s MID Regional Director


Welcome to the ICAO Middle East (MID) Regional Office newsletter. This is the first issue in 2019, a year that marks the 75th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) celebrating 75 years of connecting the world since the historic moment on 7 December 1944 when the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as Chicago Convention), was signed by 52 States.

This was the defining international agreement that permitted the global civil aviation system to develop peacefully. It was integral to promoting cooperation, to creating and to preserving friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world. Since ICAO’s inception, aviation has become a hub of human activity and socio-economic development, encouraging all the countries of the world to connect together and share their skies.

In 2019, the International Civil Aviation Organization Middle East Office (ICAOMID) and its 15 accredited States (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and United Arab Emirates) are commemorating this momentous occasion with a series of events and activities to celebrate the unique success in the aviation arena that our States have achieved since they signed the convention.

Aviation is unique in that it offers unprecedented mobility globally by connecting people, cultures and business across continents in a relatively short span of time. Currently, with over 1,400 scheduled airlines, 26,000 aircraft in service, 3,900 airports and 173 air navigation services providers, aviation has established an unmatched global network at the service of travellers and businesses in every corner of the world. Because aviation generates such impressive connectivity, it has become a key driver of economic and social development in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As the industry plans to support a near doubling of passenger numbers by 2036, demand for pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers and other aviation-related personnel is expected to rise dramatically. At the same time, increasing automation, the introduction of new technologies and innovations in aviation (e.g. unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)) require new knowledge and skills. In order to support growing aviation needs and ensure the safe, secure and efficient operation of the air transportation system, qualified and competent aviation professionals, as well as a diverse and gender-equal aviation workforce,  are required. What action should be taken to facilitate this shift?

Looking back over the last six months at the ICAO MID Office, I am proud of all that we have achieved working together. More than 20 technical missions have been conducted to assist our MID States to achieve our ambition of “No Country Left Behind” and 19 regional meetings have been organized to seek solutions to current regional challenges. In April, MID Region hosted two global events: the Global Aviation Summit, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the ICAO Blockchain Aviation Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

For the first time, the MIDANPIRG/17 and RASG-MID/7 Meetings were organized concurrently, from 15 to 18 April 2019. A side coordination meeting with the Yemeni delegation took place during these meetings to develop a NCLB Plan for Yemen, including a capacity-building project.

  • Since the beginning of the year, great progress has been achieved including, inter-alia:
    the regional Effective Implementation (EI) score increased from 70.5% to 75.14%;
  • overall ASBU implementation increased from 54% to 58%;
  • the percentage of Aerodrome Certification increased from 54% to 67%;
  • revised RASG-MID Organizational Structure was endorsed to achieve better efficiency; and
  • successful SITA Type X integration has been completed in the MID Region.

Looking ahead to November, the Fifth Meeting of the Directors General of Civil Aviation in the MID Region (DGCA-MID/5) will be held in Kuwait. I look forward to meeting with all DGCAs.
In the MID Region, we are working with our Member States and international and regional organizations and partners to ensure the sustainable development of air transport as the main driver of development in our region. Despite some adverse situations, we never stop believing in a better future where our region will lead the safest and the most sustainable traffic growth around the globe. We focus on enhancing the levels of safety and security and solving the numerous issues that we face from time to time through a high level of coordination and professionalism of our stakeholders.

The work we need to do to achieve our strategic objectives would not be possible without the fantastic support from our Member States and from our partners in the industry. I take this opportunity to congratulate you for the tremendous efforts and great collaboration with ICAO you have shown to promote the aviation industry and for your outstanding achievements in Civil Aviation. Thank you for your positive contribution to aviation safety, security and sustainability and the remarkable achievements in the aviation industry that could not have been accomplished without your commitment.

Mohamed Khalifa Rahma
ICAO MID Regional Director