By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) says that commercial aircraft carry more than 10 million passengers on over 100,000 flights daily.
The Council President of ICAO, Dr Benard Aliu, disclosed in a statement he jointly signed with the Secretary-General, Dr Fang Liu on Thursday to commemorate the 2017 International Civil Aviation Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s theme is; “Working Together to Ensure no Country is Left Behind’’.
Aliu said that aircraft also carried more than half of the world’s 1.4 billion international tourists to their destinations yearly.
According to him, the number explains how air transport generates 63.5 million jobs worldwide and contributed some 2.7 trillion dollars annually to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said ICAO’s potential of air transport development was especially important to many landlocked and small island developing states today.
“These are areas where aviation provides nothing less than an economic lifeline by continuously enhancing levels of travel, tourism and trade.
“Our No Country Left Behind Theme reminds us that all of this air traffic and its associated economic impacts will double in the next 15 years.
“ICAO’s role in helping states to optimise their aviation systems for local and global benefit has therefore never been more relevant.
“Cooperation and consensus have always been the great hallmarks of our sector as we have spread our network to every world region.
“They will continue to be so in the years ahead as countries work more closely than ever before to keep the world’s civilian skies safe, secure, and operationally and environmentally efficient,” he said.
Aliu said that international civil aviation remained the most remarkable example of successful human cooperation and effective global partnership.
He explained that with the help of ICAO member states, it would remain a shining example to the world of how much the states could achieve when they met their shared challenges together.
ICAO council president said the 2017 theme was apt, as it helped to highlight the positive socio-economic benefits which states could realise as number of routes and flights connecting them to the world increased year-on-year.
He said that ICAO had often times highlighted how improved aviation connectivity could provide a critical foundation for long-term local prosperity.
According to him, this has greatly assisted governments in their efforts to attain goal 15 of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted under ‘Agenda 2030’.
“We have also worked with global aviation’s leading organisations to produce a special aviation benefits report which outlines these impacts in objective details.
“Diplomats from 54 world powers risked war torn skies to meet in Chicago in 1944, where they drafted the visionary Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) which established ICAO.
“They formalised in the conventions’ pre-amble that civil aviation should be developed as a tool for world peace and prosperity.
“In decades, aviation’s ability to connect the world’s peoples and cultures and improve the prosperity of local populations has only become more relevant.” (NAN)