Since the withdrawal of its representation from the United Nations in 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan) had been excluded from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the past 42 years. However, based on the ROC government’s painstaking efforts and increasing support of the international community, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) of Taiwan has eventually been invited to attend the 38th Assembly of the ICAO held from September 24 to October 4 this year in Montréal, Canada, as guests of the ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez. This meaningful participation marks a step forward in Taiwan’s bid to make substantial contributions to international air safety.
Taiwan’s bid to participate in the ICAO has garnered support worldwide, highlighted by the U.S. firm support of Taiwan’s participation in the organization. Other forces favorable to Taiwan’s ICAO bid include the European Parliament and lawmakers from Australia, Colombia and Panama, etc., all of whom recognize the importance of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the ICAO.
Additionally, Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO also reflects the consensus in the international community on the importance of the Taipei Flight Information Region (FIR), which is adjacent to the four key Asian FIRs, including Manila. The Taipei FIR provides services for more than 1.3 million flights and 45 million passengers annually, which makes it one of the busiest airport hubs in Asia.
Looking into the future as a responsible stakeholder in the region, Taiwan hopes that the international community will continue to support her pursuit to have observer status at the ICAO so that it will be able to contribute more fully to the safety and orderly development of international civil aviation. As we are close regional neighbors, we sincerely hope that the Philippines will extend its support to Taiwan’s endeavor to create a safer and more open sky shared by our two peoples. All in all, when it comes to air safety, no country should be left behind.