The UAE will serve its fifth term aboard the international organization after successfully winning its re-election campaign on Tuesday, garnering 152 votes at the meetings of the ICAO’s 40th Session, running in Montreal, Canada from September 24th through October 4th.
The announcement was made during the meetings which were attended by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority(GCAA) Board, the UAE Ambassador to Canada Fahad Al Raqbani, and Saif Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA, along with a number UAE civil aviation top officials.
ICAO is the United Nation’s aviation agency. The Council is the governing body of ICAO.
"This is considered a major achievement for the UAE and its advanced civil aviation sector," Al Mansouri said. "It's another milestone that cements the UAE’s position as a leader in the aviation industry."
He said the UAE remains "committed to continuing to work alongside the ICAO and its member states to implement important changes to further strengthen the aviation industry on account of its global economic impact.
"This renewed membership will ensure preserving the UAE's interests in this essential sector and driving its growth by efficiently contributing to the decision-making process," the minister added.
The UAE was previously elected in 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.
For his part, Saif Al Suwaidi said the successful re-election bears testimony to the tireless efforts made over the past years in support of ICAO across various fronts.
"No efforts have been spared over the past years to support the local civil aviation sector with qualified cadres across all specializations," he added, reaffirming the UAE’s determination to play an influential role in consolidating the global civil aviation sector in collaboration with all its strategic partners and member countries.
The UAE recognizes the importance of engaging national human resources in the future of the aviation industry by building their capacities so as to address future challenges.
Within this context, the National Program for Future Leaders in Civil Aviation, has been launched to prepare national talent and qualify them to be future leaders in this sector.
The program, developed in collaboration with the UAE Government Leaders Program at the Office of the Prime Minister at the Ministry of Cabinet and Future Affairs, and the GCAA, aims to develop the capabilities and competencies of first and second graders in the UAE's civil aviation sector between the ages of 18 and 35. To enhance their levels of competence and capacity building, as well as provide them with a career progression for future leadership positions in this field, in addition to qualifying them to participate and represent the UAE in various international events, and in the national and international technical committees.
Representatives of Expo 2020 Dubai also took the opportunity of the 40th ICAO meetings to promote the three subthemes of the six-month international expo: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, and other initiatives under the main theme: "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".
IACT, the International Aviation Consulting & Training, a subsidiary of the General Civil Aviation Authority, provides consultancy and training courses on aviation safety, security, air transport agreements, corporate development, strategic planning and organizational development.
The three-year old state of the art training facility boasts of highly qualified and experienced faculty to provide training program that compete with international institutions.
So far, the commercial services arm of the UAE GCAA has conducted 80 training programs for more than 1000 aviation professionals from within the UAE and overseas.
In addition, the UAE also provided a working paper during the 40th assembly on women's empowerment in the aviation sector where gender equality has been underlined along with the key initiatives launched by the State in this field to help UAE women scale new heights in the aviation industry.
Environmental protection and sustainable development are core elements of the UAE’s policy agenda. The country is actively committed to the stabilization of the global climate system, as evidenced by numerous initiatives and substantial investments in improved technology and infrastructure.
The first Environmental Policy for the UAE was launched in 2012. The Environmental Policy for the civil aviation sector in the UAE is the first environmental policies on a state level, and it affirms the role of ICAO to reduce the impact of emissions of civil aviation and climate change. It calls for the application of environmental laws and regulations for United Arab Emirates, and puts the emphasis on encouraging strategic partners to provide reports on the environmental performance on regular basis.
The Policy aims to encourage the formulation and adoption of environmental policies and plans by all strategic partners in the domestic aviation sector, as well as the application of best practices based on cost-effective and positive economic impact.
The re-election of the UAE to ICAO Council is the result of relentless efforts which started over years ago with GCAA seeking the support of organisations and governmental authorities involved in civil aviation around the world. The growth of the UAE’s aviation industry over recent years has been without precedent. The UAE continues to generate traffic growth rates among the highest in the world.
The relationship between UAE and ICAO goes back to 1972 when the UAE officially joined ICAO. Since then, the UAE has been actively participating in ICAO's committees, plans and initiatives, and was elected to ICAO Council for the first time in the previous session held in 2007.
The GCAA says the UAE has many factors to qualify for the ICAO Council seat. It occupies the first position regionally in terms of the size of the civil aviation sector, with an advanced infrastructure through eight modern airports across the UAE, in addition to four national air carriers worldwide, which currently own about 497 aircraft.
The UAE has a close working relationship with the ICAO to promote and support the strategic objectives of the organization's initiative "No country left behind". It is a supporter for upgrading safety and security standards of the member states, preparing them for the International Aviation Organization audits as well as launching programs of international cooperation. They are fellowship programs, the World Food Program, the World Youth Program and the CAE Women in Flight scholarship program.
UAE also provides technical and training support to ICAO member countries and the Group of Latin American and the South African States, as well as its coordinating and cooperative efforts at the Gulf level.
The UAE seeks, by its active participation in ICAO activities and through substantial contributions to the organization's work programs, to share the lessons it has learned and the expertise it has gained.