South Africa has been given the distinguished honour of presiding over the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 41st Assembly in the Montreal, Canada, with the announcement made at the Opening Ceremony ahead of the first session that started Tuesday 27 September to end Friday, 7 October 2022.
Ms. Poppy Khoza, the Director of Civil Aviation at the South African Civil Aviation Authority, was unanimously elected by the ICAO Member States to serve as President for the 41st Assembly that consists of delegates from 193 countries.
Some of the focal topics and Working Papers that will be discussed at the two-week event include Environmental protection – local air quality, climate change as well as Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA); Aviation Safety and Security; Economic Development of Air Transport and issues of Recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.
On her election, Ms. Khoza said: “This nod from the ICAO Member States can only be a sign of how the rest of the world perceives South Africa’s contribution and value on world aviation matters.
“This Seating is the first since 2019 and it is the most critical at a time when the aviation industry needs to reflect and come up with solutions to a number of setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in line with our theme for this year of Reconnecting the World.”
Also, Deputy Minister of Transport, Hon. Sindisiwe Chikunga, said: “We are humbled and appreciative of this honour being given to South Africa. It is historic for ICAO to have elected a first woman President of the Assembly, with this happening when gender issues have taken centre stage globally. We are fostering gender equality, particularly in this male dominated sector.”
South Africa’s delegation, led by Hon. Chikunga, is also seeking re-election to the 36-country Governing Council this week, with this announcement expected to be revealed on Saturday.
The Council sets policy that will guide the Organization in addressing civil aviation issues, with the elected members forming part of the ICAO governing body for a period of three years. South Africa has had an unbroken service with a seat in the 36-Member Governing Council since 2003.
The ICAO was established in 1944 to promote safe and orderly development of international civil aviation, is made up of 193 countries.