Let’s Support Taiwan’s Participation in ICAO

by Wang Kwo-tsai *)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) develops general rules and standards for civil aviation. This directive from ICAO is followed by all countries in the world to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation.

The 41st three-year session of the ICAO Assembly to be held from September 27 to October 7 this year in Montreal Canada will be the organization’s largest event since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting will be a symbol to support the recovery of the sector. In this regard, we look to ICAO to include Taiwan in order to make things smoother.

Reconnecting the world

ICAO is an important forum in the aviation sector and its development. This organization is a civil aviation authority that discusses issues such as aviation safety, air navigation services, aviation security, environmental protection, and aviation economics.

All of these have an impact on the development of the civil aviation sector in each country. Because the global aviation industry is critically important by the pandemic, collaboration among all parties in the airline in supporting the health of passengers and travel beforehand, so that no civil aviation authority should be ignored.

ICAO will convene the 41st session of the Assembly with the aim of reconnecting the world, and Taiwan’s participation will help the world meet that goal.

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The Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR) is part of the ICAO network of over 300 FIRs.
The Taiwan Civil Aviation Administration (CAA Taiwan) is the sole entity that oversees and is responsible for the safe management of air traffic throughout the Taipei FIR.

This entity offers comprehensive and streamlined flight information services to ensure the safety of all aircraft and passengers arriving, departing and transiting Taipei FIR.

However, Taipei FIR’s efforts have been hampered by recent Chinese actions, when in August 2022 China unilaterally conducted military exercises around Taiwan. This affects international air routes and jeopardizes the safety of flights in Taipei FIR as well as neighboring FIRs.

In an effort to avoid hazards and address safety concerns, Taiwan’s CAA must take swift action to plan, and guide aircraft, including a number of foreign aircraft launching, or transiting Taipei FIR.
This situation has provided for flights with additional costs, as they have to make longer and more expensive trips and inquire about unforeseen security.

From risk management and safety, ICAO needs to allow Taiwan CAA to participate in ICAO so that it can communicate with other FIRs appropriately through that international.

sharing experiences

Despite the pandemic that has impacted the development of the world over the past two years, CAA Taiwan has made every effort to maintain the strong security record of Taipei FIR while complying with anti-pandemic measures and complying with ICAO standards and practice recommendations.

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With the concerted efforts of civil aviation and the government, Taiwan’s national carrier is one of the few airlines worldwide that remains profitable and has not laid off.

In addition, according to Airports Council International statistics for 2020 and 2021, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world for international air cargo.

technology has led to developments and changes unprecedented in the history of aviation. Drones (unmanned aircraft) are one example.

The wider use of drones and the risk to the safety of aviation and airport operations has prompted ICAO to revise the provisions in its guidance materials regarding unmanned aircraft systems.

However, access to information from ICAO is very limited for Taiwan CAA. Nonetheless, CAA Taiwan has established a timely management mechanism to ensure flight safety at the Taipei FIR.

The special chapter on drones in Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Law came into effect on March 31, 2020. A web-based application system called the Drone Operations Management Information System was also started at the same time.

Furthermore, to maintain the security of airport operations and detect illegal drone activity, Taiwan’s CAA has prepared drone defense systems at various airports.

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In addition, Taiwan’s CAA has also planned a next-generation air traffic control system to ensure its air traffic management system meets Taipei FIR’s future operational needs.
Taiwan is willing to share its aviation experience with other countries and hopes to learn from their experiences to improve flight safety.

Support Taiwan participation

Taiwan’s call to join ICAO is getting more and more international attention. As an important part of the international aviation community, Taiwan is responsible for maintaining aviation safety.

Participation in ICAO will enable Taiwan along with all other countries to contribute to global aviation and the well-being of all humanity.

Over the years CAA Taiwan has maintained the best service and security standards for Taipei FIR in order to comply with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices.

The theme of ICAO, “Reconnecting the World” at this year’s Assembly, aims to promote the recovery of global aviation. Now is the time for ICAO to reconnect with Taiwan.

In order to contribute more to international civil aviation, Taiwan’s CAA hopes to share its experiences and best practices and participate in the 41st ICAO Assembly in a meaningful and professional manner to help the world fulfill ICAO’s goal, namely the establishment of a seamless network for aviation safety.

*Wang Kwo-tsai is the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of China (Taiwan)