In his keynote address to the Global Aviation Investment Summit in Dubai, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu reminded the many dignitaries and participants in attendance that “aviation is essential to States as they seek to access regional and global markets, and these connections in turn enhance consumer benefits and choices, create jobs, and significantly stimulate tourism and trade.”
Last year, some 4.3 billion passengers and 58 million tonnes of freight were carried by global commercial operators on 38 million flights. President Aliu emphasized that “with this massive volume of operations, and noting air transport’s important access and connectivity benefits, it is not difficult to appreciate why our sector is responsible today for providing meaningful employment and sustainable careers to over 65 million men and women worldwide, while contributing more than 2.7 trillion dollars to global GDP.”
Dr. Aliu made a very strong recommendation that the primary focus should be placed by all concerned on investments earmarked toward educating and training the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP).
Dr. Aliu was accompanied during his visit by Mr. Mohamed Khalifa Rahma, ICAO’s Middle East Regional Director and by Captain Aysha Mohammed Al Hamili, Representative for the UAE on the ICAO Council.
At a special ceremony with H.E. Saif Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates, ICAO Council President Aliu signed an agreement establishing a framework for collaboration in support of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Aviation Award.
As part of the agreement, formalized on the sidelines of the Global Investment in Aviation Summit and Exhibition in Dubai, ICAO will provide information to the GCAA to facilitate the Award, established by the latter to encourage States, organizations and individuals to support the UN aviation agency’s Strategic Objectives, and to promote its No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative.