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Can Erel

On the 75th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization

March 06, 2020
On the 75th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization
Air Transportation in the World and Turkey

Civil aviation, which can be regarded as the use of aircraft in passenger and freight transportation in the world, made great progress after World War II, in the mid-1940s, by modifying and using military (fixed wing) aircraft, which were out of service…

After a while, the search for more capable and comfortable aircraft took place and planes in the turbofan power group, called jets in commercial airline transportation, were put into commercial service and developed rapidly. This process was known with the Comet (de Havilland DH 106) in the late 1940s, the "Jet Age" that started with the Boeing 707 in the late 1950s, and Boeing 747 (Jumbojet), which led to a new age of commercialization at the beginning of the 1970s. This development in aircraft made the world smaller with unpredictability in terms of passenger and freight and led to creative destruction and it shaped a new way of doing business.

In order to meet the need for necessary standards in airway transportation that was spreading widely throughout the world, international aviation organizations and organizational associations based on collaboration started to become established since the 1940s. Thus, it was possible to establish collaborations with a global understanding regarding various aspects such as attrition, legal, economic, commercial, environmental and industrial regulations. In terms of industry, globally accepted design, manufacturing, operation, maintenance-protection-deactivation standards enabled the aviation industry to develop in parallel with developing technology by providing sustainable safety/security.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), founded as the specialized organization of the United Nations (UN) pursuant to the Chicago Convention dated December 7, 1944, is the first and still the most important organization that comes to mind on this topic and has 193 member countries today.

The ICAO, in brief, is an organization that sets the standards and rules for aviation safety, aviation security, and effective and environmentally compatible aviation, makes plans for technology development, ensures cooperation between all member states in aviation, and guides the member states on international air transport issues, and also identifies economic policies and establishes legal regulations.

The decision-making bodies of the ICAO, which operates according to the conventional UN administration and organizational structures and procedures are the Assembly and the Council. The ICAO Assembly convenes every three years with the participation of all members and determines the members of the ICAO Council (today 36 members). The ICAO Council is a continuous organizational structure and is under the responsibility of the Assembly.

The President of the ICAO Council is elected by the council members for a period of three years. In the election of the presidential council held in November, Salvatore Sciacchitano, Italy`s former General Director of Civil Aviation and Italy`s current ICAO Permanent Representative, was selected as the ICAO Council President for a 3-year term and as of January 1, 2020, he took over from the previous President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu as the new President.

The ANC (Aviation Navigation Commission) and the committees, as well as the Panels, Working Groups and specialized aviation experts are under the responsibility of the Council.

The ICAO Secretariat decides what types of experts from which countries/international organizations will participate in the ICAO Panel and Working Groups, excluding those related to the aviation safety which are evaluated and decided by the ANC. Within these groups, the first studies are made for the change, update of various manuals and circulars and if necessary for the preparation of new ones, related to the aviation standards and recommendations (SARPs), air navigation procedures (PANs) having taken part in the Chicago Convention Annexes and for their applications, the first drafts are prepared and subsequently submitted to the ANC or the ATC and for Council approval.

The Secretary General is Head of the ICAO Secretariat and there are 5 bureaus within it, namely the Air Navigation Bureau, Air Transport Bureau, Technical Co-operation Bureau, Legal Bureau and the Bureau of Administration and Services. The ICAO Secretary General is elected for a three-year term, just like the President of the Council. Elected for the second time, the current Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu will serve until July 2021.

What were the activities of the ICAO for this special day, celebrating its 75th anniversary?

The 7th of December, International Civil Aviation Day, aims to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of civil aviation in the social and economic development of states, the role of the ICAO in the safety, efficiency and regulation of international air transport. This last year, “International Civil Aviation Day” was an even more special day as it was the 75th anniversary of the signing of the "International Civil Aviation Convention". For this special year, the ICAO published a global call for celebrations to share their events on social media on how civil aviation affects life worldwide, how it can take people to dream locations, how it connects people with their loved ones, how it plays a role during work and travel (with keywords #ICAO75, #FLYDAY, @ICAO) and many people shared the most inspiring stories with the world on December 7, 2019 via their posts within this context.

Relationship between the ICAO and Turkey

Turkey was elected as a member state to the Council in the Assembly meeting of the ICAO in 1947 for three years and our nominations in 1977, 1980 and 1983 were not concluded due to the vote split. Because of bilateral problems, mostly political, in the field of civil aviation since the 1970s and the increasing importance of civil aviation on a global scale, and based on the acceleration of the developments and prospective studies in our country in this field, a Bureau, responsible for ICAO activities, was established in 1978 in the Ottawa Embassy to closely monitor the ICAO`s activities and this Bureau was transformed into a Permanent Representation in 1990 in Montreal. In the 39th ICAO Assembly held in Montreal on September 27-October 7, 2016, Turkey received 156 votes of 172 states in the election and was elected the a member of the ICAO Executive Committee after 66 years, however during the 40th ICAO General Assembly held between September 24 and October 4, 2019, it lost its ICAO Council Member status. It is of great importance for Turkey to be reelected as a Council member in the elections that will take place in 2023.

Despite being one of the first 10 countries of the world in terms of air transportation, but not having taken part as a member in 36 ICAO Council sessions for the periods of 2019-2022, I would like briefly to evaluate Turkey`s air transport activities.

With the effect of the free market economy (globalization), which started to develop and spread around the world in the second half of the 1970s, flight route restrictions began to loosen up and competition among airline companies began to increase. While this competition caused a decrease in airfares, airline companies in search of profitability started to seek out optimization in their operation focusing on areas such as range, time and passenger capacity, which caused pressure on aircraft manufacturers to produce fuel-efficient aircraft. Along with the effect of developing communication technologies, environmental protection awareness was also on the rise and spread rapidly across the world and the effects of such awareness was reflected in regulations that impacted aircraft manufacturers which started to work on lighter and more efficient aircraft within low-noise and low-emission power groups. On the other hand, the free market economy also had an impact on the abolishment of state monopoly which brought forth liberalization in the aviation industry and enabled private investors to invest in aviation.

As a positive consequence of privatization, competition and quality in the aviation industry began to improve significantly. As a result, while civil aviation had become a major driving force of economies - in cooperation with the developing tourism sector, at the same time it has taken its place at the forefront of industry branches that are most sensitive to the effect of economic flux and dynamics. In other words, civil aviation as an industry that is directly dependent upon global economic parameters but also directly affects global economic parameters, has also been adversely affected by all economic crises in the world, and has even made direct and important contributions to mitigating these negative effects.

The September 11, 2001 attack and the subsequent implementation of extreme security practices and the 2008 global economic crisis which instigated additional cost effect and innovative management and organizational practices hold an esteemed and important place in the development of the aviation industry.

According to ICAO data, the number of scheduled airline passengers in the world was recorded as 4.3 billion in 2018. There was an increase in airline passenger movement (arrival/departure), which was 100 million in the 1950s in the world, to 8.6 billion in scheduled airline passenger in 2018, and the “Air Trip per Capita” which is the ratio of passengers using air transportation to the population, which was 0.000038 (0.1/2600 million), recorded as 1.132 (4.3/7.6 billion) at the end of 2018 indicate that this demand has increased 29.789 times over the last 60+ years. This fact once again reveals the importance of the unity of global understanding and implementation in the legal, economic, commercial, environmental and industrial fields.

The content which is referred to below on “Developments in the World and in Turkey” was arranged according to 2018 data of the Turkish Civil Aviation Assembly Sector Report, prepared by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges Turkish Civil Aviation Assembly Sector, where I currently serve as the Vice President responsible for Education/Training, and R&D.

Airway Transportation in Turkey with Facts and Figures

Despite all the political and economic problems in the world in recent years, airway transportation continued its development and contribution to the global economy in 2018.

Having a strategic geographical location in the middle of Asia, Europe and Africa continents, our country is located on the flight routes between developed and developing markets.

Despite the slowdown in 2015 and 2016, our country`s airway transportation started to rise again in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, total passenger traffic increased by 9% compared to 2017 and reached 210,498,164 passengers. Adding the number of direct transit passengers to this figure, the total number of passengers was recorded as 210,947,639 in 2018.

According to ICAO 2017 data, Turkey:

• Ranked 11th in revenue tons-kilometers and passenger-kilometers on scheduled service

• Ranked 12th in freight tons-kilometers performed on scheduled services

• In international flights

- Ranked 8th in tons-kilometers on scheduled service

- Ranked 9th in passenger-kilometers on scheduled service

The total flight destinations of our airlines continued to increase in 2018; our 5 airlines operated flights from 7 centers to 56 destinations in domestic flights and 318 destinations in 124 countries in international flights.

The civil aviation industry in our country employed 196,041 personnel in in 2017, with a total industry turnover of US$ 24.31 billion. The 2018 forecast is 205,000 personnel and US$ 29.46 billion.

According to the study made by the Turkish Exporters Assembly:

• Turkey ranked 3rd in the export of air transportation services in the world in 2017 after the US and UAE.

•Passenger transportation export in 2016 and 2017 was approximately 47% of the total service export.

• 5 aviation companies took place in the list of top 10 exporters list of 2017.

As Istanbul became one of the largest global transit centers in the world, the total number of incoming and outgoing passengers served at Istanbul airports in 2018 exceeded 100 million for the first time.

With the capacity generated at Istanbul Airport and with the rapid increase in passenger and freight traffic, it is expected that Turkey, which is amongst top ten countries in the world, will raise this level and contribute more significantly to global air transportation both in domestic lines and international lines, as a global transit hub. It is no secret that this development will reach a much more remarkable level with important developments in industrial and intellectual layers.

I sincerely congratulate those who have made great efforts in the Turkish aviation industry; I commemorate each of them with gratitude, wishing mercy to those passed away and health to those who are with us. I congratulate once again the "International Civil Aviation Day" of my elders and colleagues, who have set their hearts on aviation, have careers in aviation and/or have contributed and presently contribute to the development of aviation. I wish all my colleagues secure and safe activities and flights


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