This HLPF side-event addressed the key role aviation connectivity plays in supporting Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and how the industry can embrace sustainable practices. The keynote speaker was Henry Gourdji, the current Head of Strategic Planning at ICAO.
Both national representatives highlighted the central role of aviation connectivity in their countries’ trade and thus formal economies. Aviation includes otherwise isolated regions and populations in a state’s formal economy by providing trade and tourism channels, thus overcoming geographical disadvantages of both sub-regions and countries. Aviation also promotes wealth and resource distribution by penetrating both states and continents.
Key advances in air traffic control and cost-effective aviation infrastructure innovations were touched upon by the Mongolia and Ethiopia representatives. Both national representatives also highlighted the persistent issues that exist within their aviation objectives. The most immediate barrier is the lack of sustained funding to establish both aviation policy and infrastructural frameworks in developing countries. A state-operated airline, which often facilitates the national economy with increased connectivity and flexibility, is considered too risky an investment for developing nations. Thus, they rely on international carriers for support. Although this achieves certain connectivity goals, the state does not reap the benefits of economic uplift and added flexibility that a state-owned carrier offers.
Finally, a question was posed regarding recent innovative technologies disrupting the current aviation regulation framework. Mr Gourdji emphasised the need for key aviation players to drive both innovation and regulation reform to ensure new technologies achieve safety statistics than the existing technology. Only once the technological and regulatory feasibility of the technology has been proven would the ICAO work with the private sector to formalize its deployment.
Date / Location: Wednesday 11th July 2018, S-2727, UN Secretariat, UNHQ, NY, USA
Henry Gourdji (Head, Strategic Planning, Coordination and Partnerships Office, Office of the Secretary General, ICAO)
Thilly De Bodt (Chief Partnerships and Resource Mobilization, ICAO)
Author: WIT Representative, Farri Gaba