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Published on : Wednesday, August 17, 2016
At the invitation of the Government and accompanied by ICAO’s Regional Director for the Asia and Pacific (APAC) Region, Mr. Arun Mishra, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, was in Delhi earlier this month to undertake high-level bilateral meetings with government and aviation officials.
In his meeting with Mr. Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. Jayant Sinha, its Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and the Permanent Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Mr. Rajeev Nayan Choubey, President Aliu thanked the Indian Government for their warm welcome on his first official visit to their country after being elected President of the ICAO Council. He highlighted that ICAO sees India as a key player in the APAC region and that its contributions to ICAO have been very valuable.
“ICAO would greatly appreciate India’s consideration to enhance its leadership role in the APAC Region by providing technical assistance to its neighbouring countries to further the ICAO No Country Left Behind initiative,” the President remarked. “And I would also urge Indian experts to fully participate in the ongoing technical work of ICAO, both at the Regional level as well as at ICAO HQ.”
President Aliu further proposed that the Indian Government could second various experts to ICAO for the benefit of international civil aviation, and suggested that a training programme for safety inspectors could be initiated by India, in collaboration with other Member States.
He additionally requested India’s support in making aviation development and cooperation a key agenda item for the ongoing work of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) group of nations. Minister Raju thanked the President for his visit and reiterated the commitment of India to work with ICAO to further its strategic objectives. He assured President Aliu that the proposal for secondment and the establishment of a Training Programme for Safety Inspectors would be favourably considered by his Government.
President Aliu was subsequently provided with a detailed presentation on India’s civil aviation sector by the country’s Civil Aviation Ministry Permanent Secretary and Senior Officials. President Aliu lauded India’s achievements with its GAGAN satellite based navigation system, as well as its civil/military aviation cooperation and Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM). Noting India’s near perfect scores on its recent ICAO Aviation Security Audit, President Aliu highlighted that its success could also benefit other States in the Region through greater collaboration and sharing of best practices. He requested the Secretary to enhance the participation of Indian experts in the various meetings of ICAO in the area of safety and aviation security.
President Aliu further observed that while India has made significant progress in all the fields of civil aviation, further work was required in the areas of personnel training, airports, and accident investigation, in addition to improved regulatory oversight in the air navigation services (ANS) domain.
In his meetings with Anil Madhav Dave and Ajay Narain Jha, Minister and Permanent Secretary respectively in India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests, President Aliu noted the importance of their discussions considering the forthcoming negotiations in ICAO to agree on a Global Market Based Measure for aviation emissions.
He observed that India played a very significant role in the positive outcome of the COP/21 talks in Paris, and expressed his hope that India would continue to work toward positive consensus through ICAO on the global MBM for international flight emissions.
The Minister thanked the President and reiterated his country’s prioritization of the aviation GMBM, stressing India’s concern as a developing nation that the GMBM should not hinder the aspirations of the Indian people to continue maximizing the significant economic benefits of global air transport connectivity. He reiterated his Government’s commitment to work with ICAO and other Member States in order to resolve an MBM design borne out of consensus which adequately addresses the interest of all States.