MONTRÉAL, 25 November 2014 – The seventh ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference (ICAN2014) wound up on a record note in Bali, Indonesia last week, with 78 States/territories and one regional body taking full advantage of ICAN’s unique and cost-effective multi-negotiation facility to expand air transport liberalization and market access.
Some 440 negotiators conducted 550 meetings during the five-day ICAN marathon, which led to the signing and initialling of 530 air service agreements and arrangements. Since its inception in 2008, six successive ICANs have been held in different regions of the world to advance the liberalization of international air transport to the benefit of the industry and travelling public. ICAN2014 was additionally noteworthy in that it was opened to participation from both governments and industry.
“The tremendous level of growth now being projected for our sector through 2030 points to the likelihood that more and more air service agreements will need to be reached between a greater number of States in the coming years,” commented ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin, in his opening speech to the almost 500 ICAN2014 participants.
“This highlights the essential value of ICAO’s ICAN offering and its contribution to an improved regulatory environment for the sustainable development of air transport.”
Mr. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia, officially opened ICAN2014. He stressed the great impact of improving air transport connectivity through events such as the ICAO ICAN, as well as the broader benefits this leads to form economic, social and tourism development standpoints at the national, regional and global levels. In welcoming all participants, he expressed Indonesia was “…honoured to host this event that connects States, people, aviation, tourism and trade…”
Reflecting the close link between air transport and tourism, and their ongoing collaborative efforts, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was invited to the event for a second time in 2014. Mr. Marcio Favilla, Executive Director of UNWTO, highlighted the critical links between the work of ICAO and the UNWTO and the need to foster still greater global connectivity and facilitation supporting the travel and tourism sectors.
On behalf of 2015 ICAN host nation Turkey, its Director General of Civil Aviation Mr. Bilal Eksi accepted the handover of ICAN responsibilities from 2014 host Indonesia, extending a warm invitation to participants to join ICAN2015 in Turkey late next year.