International Civil Aviation Day takes place every year on 7th December. In last year’s blog I foolishly proclaimed, “here’s to another successful year for the International Civil Aviation community”. As is well documented, that wasn’t the case. But I don’t plan to dedicate this blog to the COVID-19 impact. As we count down the days to Christmas, I will aim to be more optimistic.

The theme

Following last year’s 75th anniversary of ICAO celebrations, the theme of International Civil Aviation Day until 2023 is “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”. This is very apt given the global focus on accelerating technological advancement in aviation in order to facilitate a green recovery for the long-term.

We have seen Governments react in a variety of ways when supporting their respective economies in response to the global crisis, but when it comes to aviation the message is fairly clear. To facilitate a long-term recovery for aviation requires significant investment in R&D, sustainable fuels and operational improvements. Some are also looking at fleet renewal schemes (also known as aircraft scrappage schemes).

The issue of climate change is a global one, and therefore a global response is required, particularly from sectors like aviation and aerospace. Despite this year’s challenges, we continue to see the industry lead in responding to the challenge. The Airbus ZEROe concept aircraft are an excellent example of this.

The year ahead

The excellent news in the world of rapid tests and vaccines provide some light at the end of the tunnel, and we may even be in a position to meet in person at some point next year. This is important when we consider the events in the diary.

Naturally, we were extremely disappointed that the Farnborough International Air Show couldn’t go ahead as planned this year, and today’s announcement about the Paris Air Show next year has dampened spirits further. We do, however  look forward to bringing the global aviation community back together (physically) as soon as possible. And, with the postponed COP-26 summit taking place in Glasgow in November, we’ll be looking to build momentum on environmental issues in the run-in.

We will bounce back

The world needs aviation. International Civil Aviation Day was established to generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of how aviation supports the social and economic developments of states. The sector still has a bright future and has bold plans for that future. 2021 will be a year to restart, recover, and rebuild.