Taiwan should not be left out of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) reiterated yesterday.
As a member of the global aviation community, Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to a more seamless flight safety network, Lin said at the opening of the International Air Safety Summit in Taipei.
It is the first time that Taiwan has hosted the summit.
Taiwan has taken a major step forward by hosting the summit, as it helps the nation participate in the international community and enhance global aviation safety, Lin said later on the sidelines of the summit, which runs through tomorrow.
The ICAO has highlighted the importance of a “seamless sky” in terms of aviation safety, as any error could lead to severe damage, he added.
“Even though Taiwan is not an ICAO member, we can still share and exchange our experiences with our global partners through the summit,” Lin said.
“During the summit, we hope to present our achievements in the civil aviation industry, which were made possible through the efforts of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and airlines over the years. We also hope to make contributions to the international community,” he added.
The government in September sent delegates to the ICAO Assembly in Montreal, even though it was not invited, Lin said, adding that nearly all of the organization’s important members held bilateral meetings with Taiwan.
This showed that Chinese oppression cannot prevent other nations from incorporating Taiwan into the global aviation safety system, he said.
Lin in his speech reiterated the importance of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, highlighting the crucial role played by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR), as well as major achievements the nation has made over the years.
Last year, the airport served nearly 46.5 million passengers, and was ranked 11th and fifth in terms of international passenger and cargo volumes respectively, he said.
Meanwhile, the Taipei FIR provided air traffic control services more than 1.75 million times for 68.9 million incoming and outgoing passengers, he added.
The nation has also amended civil aviation regulations, requiring national airlines, maintenance stations, airports and training organizations to establish safety management systems, Lin said.
Taiwan has consistently revised the State Safety Plan in accordance with the most recent ICAO standards, he added.
The government would implement regulations on uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) on March 31, he said, adding that the aeronautics agency has set up an information management system and a UAV flight map mobile app to improve the oversight of drone operations and their users.
Apart from the summit, the nation has hosted many international air safety conferences, such as the ATR Aircraft Technical Exchange Meeting, the Crew Fatigue Risk Management System Conference and the Safety Management System Conference, Lin said.
“The 2020-2022 Global Aviation Safety Plan, which was discussed at the ICAO Assembly, encourages the implementation of safety management and risk-based approaches. It also emphasizes that countries should strengthen cooperation at the regional level, which highlights the necessity and legitimacy of Taiwan’s participation in the global aviation safety system,” he said.
Lin also said that the absence of Chinese civil aviation officials and industry representatives at the summit would not only harm global aviation safety, but would also put China in a disadvantageous position.
The annual summit is being attended by experts from around the world, including representatives from the US National Transportation Safety Board and NASA, as well as the French Directorate General for Civil Aviation.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), who is also chairman of the Taipei-based China Aviation Development Foundation, in March last year signed a memorandum of understanding with Flight Safety Foundation vice president Mark Millam for the development foundation to host the summit, now in its 72nd year.
Taiwan made a bid to host the summit in 2007, but failed due to pressure from China.
Additional reporting by CNA
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