WHEREAS the future development of international civil aviation can greatly help to create and preserve friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, yet its abuse can become a threat to the general security and WHEREAS it is desirable to avoid friction and to promote that cooperation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends THEREFORE, the undersigned governments having agreed on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically Have accordingly concluded this Convention to that end. Preamble to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Signed at Chicago, on 7 December 1944
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL TO THE ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION I have the honour to transmit, at the direction of the Council, its Report for the year 2008 prepared in compliance with Article 54a of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. It constitutes documentation for the next regular Session of the Assembly, which will be convened in 2010, but it is being circulated to Contracting States now for their information. It will also be sent to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in pursuance of Article VI, paragraph 2 a of the Agreement between the United Nations and ICAO. The contrast between early 2008 and the fourth quarter of the year was as dramatic as one could have imagined. The onset in the Fall of what was already being perceived as a global financial crisis affected all major stakeholders, with an anticipated ripple effect throughout air transport and related industries. In this context, ICAOs shift to a performance-driven and results-based management style, initiated a few years ago, demonstrates its effectiveness with Contracting States in helping them achieve consistent improvements in the safety, security, sustainability and efficiency of the global air transport system. During the year, there were numerous concrete achievements emerging from this growing emphasis on performance planning and decision-making, which I believe have reinforced the ICAO work programme and made it even more relevant to civil aviation. The focus on resolving safety issues in Africa has placed emphasis on the investment of financial and human resources thereby producing more significant results. The Africa-Indian Ocean AFI Comprehensive Implementation Programme developed a strategic three-pronged approach to enable States to establish and maintain a sustainable safety oversight system, to help them identify deficiencies and to promote a safety culture among AFI aviation service providers. A special Africa-Indian Ocean Regional Air Navigation meeting helped strengthen a continent-wide commitment to aviation safety through work programmes based on performance objectives with measurable outcomes and metrics. Performance planning also underlined further application and expansion of ICAOs Global Aviation Safety Plan, a holistic approach involving a full range of initiatives, such as State Safety Plans, Safety Management Systems and the modernization of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme. All of these activities are aimed at dealing with the lingering and emerging safety issues and challenges around the world, from runway incursions to unmanned aircraft systems and the number of qualified aviation personnel.
The new performance dictum also translated into more importance being given to responding rapidly and cohesively to security threats affecting civil aviation, in an increasingly harmonized and consistent manner worldwide. This involved government, industry and law enforcement agencies around the world. Discrepancies, the weakest link in the chain, represent the greatest risk. Many of the steps undertaken or contemplated in 2008 had a positive influence on reducing these risks and increasing public confidence in air travel. The revising of security Standards, procedures and guidance material complemented assistance to States, regional assistance, global cooperation and aviation security training. Regarding environmental protection, emphasis was placed on practical solutions to reduce the global footprint from aviation emissions and on measures to limit the overall impact of air transport on the environment. The establishment of the ICAO Group on International Aviation and Climate Change enhanced cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in determining the optimum method for managing emissions from international aviation, with regard to a future climate change agreement to be developed in December 2009 in Copenhagen. The creation of a user-friendly Carbon Calculator on ICAOs public website to assess the carbon footprint of individual air travellers gave further impetus to efforts at an outreach programme aimed at increasing public awareness of ICAO. The value of these and many other efforts were recognized by Member States contributing human and financial resources to the Environmental Protection programme. By definition, air operations thrive on ever-greater efficiency. Substantial increases in performance standards were at the core of meetings and activities throughout the year, ranging from a very successful forum on the integration of the Next Generation NextGen and the Single European Sky ATM Research SESAR air navigation systems of the United States and Europe, respectively, to the updating and completion of documentation dealing with Performance-based Navigation and the introduction of new larger aeroplanes. A groundbreaking event, the ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference ICAN2008 brought together under one roof a number of States to negotiate and conclude bilateral air services agreements. During the Conference, a symposium was held on regional organizations which led to a greater understanding of the power of global cooperation to deal with common challenges. Ultimately, that is what ICAO is all about a global forum dedicated to promoting international cooperation among all members of the world aviation community, where varied and sometimes diverging national interests can be heard and considered in the development of the myriad standards, procedures and policies that comprise the global regulatory framework, which makes civil aviation an extraordinarily efficient mode of mass transportation. This 2008 Annual Report reflects the paradigm shift now under way within ICAO a greater focus on performance and results. Roberto Kobeh Gonzlez President of the Council