Taiwan is calling for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to reconnect with them to achieve the goal of a seamless sky.
Taiwan’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Wang Kwo-tsai said this in a statement leading up to the 41st triennial ICAO Assembly taking place in Montreal, Canada from 27 September to 7 October this year.
Slated to be the biggest session since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the meeting is symbolic of supporting the recovery of the aviation sector.
Furthermore, the session will showcase the importance of collaboration among stakeholders in the international aviation community.
Under ICAO, common regulations and standards for civil aviation are developed; countries around the world abide by its directives to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation.
ICAO will spur the development of aviation, including discussions on aviation safety, air navigation services, aviation security, environmental protection, and aviation economics.
“All of these bear on the development of each country’s civil aviation sector. As the global aviation industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, collaboration among stakeholders in support of passenger health and safe travel is more important than ever,” said Wang.
The Transport and Communications Minister added that no civil aviation authority should be excluded.
“As ICAO will hold the 41st Assembly session (soon) with the stated goal of ‘reconnecting the world’, Taiwan would help the world meet this aim.”
He outlined the importance of Taiwan’s participation, stating that Taiwan’s Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR) has been part of ICAO’s network of over 300 FIRs.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration of Taiwan (Taiwan CAA) is the sole entity that oversees and is responsible for safe air traffic management throughout the Taipei FIR.
“It offers a comprehensive range of information services and streamlines air routes to ensure the safety and efficiency of all aircraft and passengers arriving in, departing, and transiting the Taipei FIR,” said the minister.
On this account, Wang highlighted that from a risk and safety management perspective, ICAO should allow the Taiwan CAA to participate.
“(This is) in order to be able to communicate with other FIRs while providing and obtaining timely information via ICAO.”
Wang also shared Taiwan’s aviation experiences during the pandemic stating that despite the consequences on the world over the past two years, the Taiwan CAA has made every effort to maintain a strong safety record of the Taipei FIR.
“(At the same time), diligently adhering to relevant anti-pandemic measures and complying with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices.”
“With a joint effort by civil aviation stakeholders and the government, Taiwan’s national carriers have been among the few airlines around the world to have remained profitable and not cut jobs,” added the minister.
Statistics from the Airports Council International found that in 2020 and 2021, Taiwan’s largest airport – the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was the fourth busiest airport in the world for international air cargo.
Additionally, the Transport and Communications minister acknowledged that technological advances are causing unprecedented development and changes in aviation, citing drones as an example.
“As the wider use of drones poses a potential risk to aviation safety and airport operations, ICAO has been revising or adopting provisions in related guidance materials regarding unmanned aircraft systems.”
“Despite a lack of access to ICAO information, the Taiwan CAA has established relevant management mechanisms in a timely manner so as to maintain aviation safety within the Taipei FIR while also helping spur the development of drone-related industries,” added Wang.
A dedicated chapter on drones in Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Act came into force on 31 March 2020 and at the same time, a web-based application system called the Drone Operations Management Information System went online.
Taiwan’s CAA additionally set up drone defense systems at various airports to maintain the safe operation of airports and detect illegal drone activity.
“The Taiwan CAA has also begun planning a next-generation air traffic control automation system to ensure its air traffic management system meets the future operational needs of the Taipei FIR,” shared the minister.
The aim is to contribute to greater regional and global navigation efficiency.
“Taiwan is willing to share its aviation experiences with other countries and hopes to learn about theirs to improve aviation safety,” said Wang.
The minister shared that Taiwan’s efforts to be part of ICAO have gained increased recognition from the international community.
“As an important stakeholder in the international aviation community, Taiwan takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard aviation safety.”
He highlighted that participation in ICAO would allow Taiwan, together with other countries to contribute to the further development of global aviation and everyone’s well-being.
“ICAO would benefit from our participation as the Taiwan CAA has maintained the highest standards of service and safety for the Taipei FIR for many years.”
“We have also worked hard to comply with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices,” he reiterated.
As this year’s theme of the ICAO assembly is ‘Reconnecting The World’ to promote a global aviation recovery, this is the time for ICAO to reconnect with Taiwan, urged the minister.
“To further contribute to international civil aviation, the Taiwan CAA aspires to share its professional experiences and to participate in ICAO’s 41st Assembly meaningfully and professionally to help the world meet the ICAO goal of a seamless network for aviation safety.”