By Ho Chen Tan
Minister of Transportation and Communications
Republic of China (Taiwan)
The recent 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks serves as a reminder that aviation safety remains a paramount global concern. To align with international aviation safety standards, Taiwan has actively striven to gain participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization. Indeed, for many years, Taiwan has worked with other countries around the globe to improve the quality and efficiency of international air services. Taiwan’s participation in ICAO would lead to closer cooperation in the international civil aviation industry and boost its development, thereby contributing to the ICAO goal of achieving a safe and seamless sky.
Integral part of the global aviation network
Taiwan is located in the busiest section of airspace in East Asia. In 2015, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was ranked 11th and sixth in the world in passenger and cargo volumes, respectively, according to the Airports Council International. In the same year, 74 airlines offered services to and from Taiwan, operating scheduled passenger and cargo flights on 301 routes and connecting 135 cities around the world. And the Taipei Flight Information Region—administered by Taiwan—provided over 1.53 million instances of air traffic control services and handled 58 million incoming and outgoing passengers in 2015, serving as an indispensable part of the global air transport network.
Contributing to the ICAO goal of achieving a seamless sky
For over four decades, Taiwan’s civil aviation authorities, whether in terms of effort or investment, have outdone their counterparts in many other countries in striving to meet flight safety and security regulations set by ICAO. Air safety, navigation, security, environmental protection, and economic matters are of great concern to ICAO, and related challenges must be tackled through close cooperation among all countries. As such, Taiwan’s meaningful participation in ICAO is a necessity.
The need for continued international support
Following many years of effort, Taiwan was invited to attend the 38th ICAO Assembly in 2013 thanks to the support of European nations, the United States, and other friendly countries. Taiwan aims to continue to participate in the meetings, mechanisms, and activities of ICAO in a professional and constructive manner. To that end, Representative R.C. Wu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada presented a letter of intent regarding Taiwan's interest in attending this year's assembly, which convenes September 27 – October 7 in Montreal, Canada.
As a member of the international community, Taiwan shares in the responsibility of safeguarding regional and global aviation safety and is committed to contributing to the further development of global aviation and the wellbeing of all mankind. Taiwan will continue to share its civil aviation experience and expertise with other nations, so as to jointly ensure the safe, orderly, and sustainable development of the international civil aviation industry.