By Amino C.Y. Chi, Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami
MIAMI, USA – The International Civil Aviation Organization, known as the ICAO, is dedicated to ensuring the safety and order of international civil aviation throughout the world. The ICAO has long invited civil aviation stakeholders to its meetings; however, Taiwan, an important stakeholder in international aviation, has been excluded from the ICAO since 1971 for political reasons.
Taiwan is a key air traffic hub connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia. The Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR), managed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) oversees 18 international and four domestic routes. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Taipei FIR provided over 1.85 million instances of air traffic control services and handled approximately 72 million incoming and outgoing passengers.
For many years, the CAA has maintained the highest standards of service and safety for the Taipei FIR. Moreover, Airports Council International (ACI) statistics show that Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport was the fourth-busiest airport in the world in 2020 in terms of international air cargo handled.
The theme of the 41st session of the ICAO Assembly, to be held from September 27 to October 7, will be “Reconnecting the World”, and Taiwan aspires to share its professional experiences and meaningfully participate in the ICAO.
Leaving out Taiwan, one of the most active members of the international community, from the world’s most important event in composing international aviation safely regulations will certainly not be an optimal decision for the ICAO and its members entirely, thus there should be no hesitation for the ICAO to reconnect with Taiwan in a collective effort to make each flight journey a safer one.