Business aviation growth tied to sustainable development: ICAO
ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted the unique qualities and important role of business aviation to global development today, as she provided her keynote address to the 2016 Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai, China.
Stressing that ABACE events help to showcase aviation as a fundamental enabler of economic development, while providing a venue for dialogue among regulators, manufacturers and operators, Dr. Liu commented that business aviation is an important contributor to air transport’s many positive impacts, and ultimately to many of the Sustainable Development Goals being pursued today under the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, especially given its well-recognized role in promoting economic growth and international trade.
“In less developed and rural regions, including landlocked and small-island States, where a lack of stable demand, infrastructure constraints, and other challenges can often impede the viability of commercial operations, business aviation helps to establish vital links enabling improved connectivity,” she remarked. “And in a similar vein, the ability of business aircraft to make use of shorter runways contributes substantially when emergency and humanitarian efforts are required. I would also highlight the 22 billion dollars and 164,000 jobs your sector contributes to the EU, as well as the 200 billion dollars and 1.1 million jobs it generates in the United States. These are very significant socio-economic contributions, and it would be encouraging to see similar levels of business aviation economic influence becoming more globally widespread.”
Business aviation operations are currently expanding at 5% annually in Asia-Pacific – faster than any other region in the world today. Dr. Liu applauded this growth, and stressed that ICAO would continue to ensure that the needs of business and general aviation operators would be fully considered in ICAO, especially with respect to high-priority issues for the sector such as airport and airspace access, and access to competitive aircraft management services.
“We will continue to work closely with the business aviation community to make certain that your voice remains an important one around our table, and that States more fully appreciate the important socio-economic contributions which business aviation has to offer,” Dr. Liu said.
More than 200 aviation financiers, manufacturers, service providers, legal specialists and others were on hand at ABACE2016, as well as the latest aircraft, products and services available to support business aviation in the region. ABACE2016 is organized by the National Business Association, the Asian Business Aviation Association, and the International Business Aviation Council, in partnership with the Shanghai Airport Authority.