ACI and member airports discuss aviation development to ICAO

The new forum is set to establish long-term approaches for the sector’s recovery and sustainability measures  

Airports Council International (ACI) World alongside four of its member airports presented their views yesterday (June 30) on innovation and technology trends to a new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) forum.  

This was established to help distinguish what developments could be applied to the sector as it navigates through the Covid-19 crisis and begins to lay down foundations for a sustainable recovery.  

Heathrow Airport
Photo London Heathrow Airport

Amongst those in attendance at the Industry Consultative Forum (ICF) were CEOs of Singapore Changi Airport, Corporacion American, London Heathrow and Toronto Pearson International. All parties provided their views on technological challenges that are currently affecting aviation.  

“It is important that the forum facilitates direct conversations between the CEOs of ACI member airports and the ICAO Council on the transformational trends affecting aviation and society at large, which will help ICAO to remain relevant and responsive,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World director.  

Some topics discussed included the implementation of biometric screening, the facilitation of sustainable aviation fuels and the continued efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions.  

Lee Seow Hiang, Changi Airport Group’s CEO, explained: “During the early days of Covid-19 pandemic, technology was used to improve testing times and facilitate contact tracing. These efforts did not happen spontaneously but required sharp focus – the world knew what the problem was, and the solutions required. 

“Innovation and technology will continue to be the enablers. Strong collaboration among the aviation community and local governments is key, such that once the world overcomes this pandemic, the aviation industry will grow strongly and become more resilient to future shocks.” 

John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, added: “The coordinated response to COVID-19 is proof that ICAO and industry can join forces to tackle some of the most pressing challenges faced by our sector. We must continue to work together to overcome aviation's greatest long-term threat – carbon. 

 “It is vital that we learn the lessons from CART (council aviation recovery taskforce) and build back better by globally pledging to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and putting in place measures to scale up SAF usage. The ICAO general assembly in 2022 presents the perfect opportunity to cement these commitments and ensure we protect the benefits of flying for future generations, whilst removing the environmental costs.” 

The main aim of the ICAO from the ICF was to understand how it could enhance its position in developing standards and recommended practices to keep up with the constantly changing aviation sector.