Taiwan should be allowed to participate in the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly to share and gain access to key aviation information following China’s military exercises around the nation last month, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said in an article published in The Diplomat online magazine.
The live-fire military drills, which were launched one day after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi completed a visit to Taiwan early last month, were announced unilaterally and at short notice, affecting international air routes and jeopardizing aviation safety in the Taipei Flight Information Region (FIR) and neighboring FIRs, Wang said.
“In an effort to avert danger and alleviate safety concerns, the Taiwan CAA [Civil Aeronautics Administration] had to hastily make plans and guide aircraft, including many foreign aircraft, departing, arriving in or transiting the Taipei FIR. The situation burdened airlines with additional costs due to their need to take longer and more expensive journeys and substantially increased unforeseen risk,” Wang said.
“From both a risk and safety management perspective, ICAO should allow the Taiwan CAA to participate in ICAO so that it is able to communicate with other FIRs and provide and obtain timely information via ICAO,” he said. “We call on ICAO to reconnect with Taiwan in a collective effort to achieve the goal of a seamless sky.”
The 41st session of the triennial ICAO Assembly, which is to be held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 in Montreal, Quebec, would be “symbolic for supporting the recovery of the aviation sector,” Wang said.
“As the global aviation industry has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration among all stakeholders in support of passenger health and safe travel is more important than ever. No civil aviation authority should be excluded,” he said.
Wang also highlighted the CAA’s efforts in maintaining the safety of the Taipei FIR, adhering to anti-pandemic measures and complying with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices, despite the severe effects that the pandemic has had on the world over the past two years.
“With a joint effort by civil aviation stakeholders and the government, Taiwan’s national carriers have been among the few airlines around the world to have remained profitable and not cut jobs,” he said.
Wang cited Airports Council International statistics from 2020 to last year, which show that Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan’s largest, was the world’s fourth-busiest airport for international air cargo.
Taiwan’s participation in ICAO is also necessary, as the organization is tackling challenges to aviation safety brought by uncrewed aerial vehicles, he said.
“As the wider use of drones poses a potential risk to aviation safety and airport operations, ICAO has been revising or adopting provisions in related guidance materials regarding unmanned aircraft systems,” he said.
Despite a lack of access to ICAO information, Wang said the CAA has established management mechanisms in a timely manner to maintain aviation safety within the Taipei FIR, while also helping spur the development of drone-related industries.
The CAA also plans to install a next-generation air traffic control automation system to ensure its air traffic management system meets the operational needs of the Taipei FIR, Wang said, adding that the aim is to contribute to greater regional and global navigation efficiency.
“Taiwan is willing to share its aviation experiences with other countries and hopes to learn about theirs to improve aviation safety,” he said.
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
Adolescents aged 12 to 17 can start receiving the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine from tomorrow, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that the second phase of inoculations using Moderna’s bivalent vaccine would begin next week. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that the Novavax vaccine can be administered to adolescents aged 12 to 17 as their primary series of vaccines or as a booster shot. It also allowed a mix-and-match approach. The Novavax vaccine is a good choice for eligible recipients who are worried about possible adverse reactions from other COVID-19 vaccines, said
‘CONSENSUS’: The CECC would brief the Cabinet on its reopening plans if data show that a local outbreak proceeded as it had predicted, Premier Su Tseng-chang said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) could announce today that it would fully reopen borders on Oct. 13, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. Su in the morning inspected Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to check if airport personnel were prepared to cope with an expected rise in passenger volume today, when the weekly cap for international arrivals would increase to 60,000 people. The requirement for a saliva-based polymerase chain reaction test upon landing is also to be waived. The CECC last week announced that a zero-quarantine policy for international arrivals could be implemented from Oct. 13, depending on the local