The International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 50th anniversary activities.
In 1996, pursuant to an ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.
The purpose of the event is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of states, and of the unique role of ICAO in helping states to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.
As the UN and world nations have now adopted Agenda 2030, and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.
Read also: IATA Projects African Airlines to Lose $1.7b
The airline industry has not just revolutionised the way we travel but has shrunk the world into few hours. Today, airlines carry a huge number of 3.6 Billion passengers per year, and account for delivering one-third of the world’s trade.
The growing numbers of passengers and the technological innovations have changed the face of the airline industry for good.
Some of the technologies that have changed the face of the aviation industry are Blockchain Technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence Beacons technology, Robotics, Biometrics, Internet of Things, and Mobile solutions.
However, with the emergence of Covid-19, the aviation industry was one of the worst hit globally as on average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses.
The IATA recently predicted that African Airlines will lose $3.7 billion between this year and 2021, while also projecting a global loss of $157 billion for the aviation industry, with the passengers more than halving due to the travel restrictions and border closures.
Read also: African Airlines to Consolidate Operations
Although there is optimism for improved performance in 2021 with the announcements of Covid-19 vaccines and availability of better pre-departure testing kits, the association sees “deep industry losses” continuing into 2021.
African Airlines Association Secretary General Abdérahmane Berthe has also called for the consolidation of routes between smaller and larger airlines as a means of rebounding from the Covid-19 pandemic.
A key to the recovery is universal implementation of the re-start measures, agreed through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to keep passengers and crew safe.
Also, promoting intra-Africa trade and supporting supply chains, particularly of agricultural goods at a time when food security concerns abound, is critical to cushioning the economic blow this pandemic has inflicted on the African continent.
A functioning cross-continental aviation network is also central to these efforts.
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