Brussels, September 25, 2017 – Aviation is essential to the economic development of cities, countries and regions everywhere, but governments can only optimise its benefits by addressing the sector’s critical infrastructure and resource needs in their national development strategies.

That’s the key message being conveyed jointly by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and international aviation’s most prominent organisations, of which the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) is part, in a special new 2017 report just released on Aviation Benefits.

The report’s announcement comes just before World Tourism Day on September 27, 2017, helping to underscore the symbiotic links between positive tourism impacts and the level of aviation connectivity in a given city or territory.

“Well over a billion tourists are crossing international borders each year,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, “and a very high percentage of these are travelling by air to their destinations – for example over 80% in many island States. Aviation’s lowering costs and expanding route network mean that the economic benefits from tourism and other aviation connectivity impacts will only increase in the years ahead, a trend which is doubly reinforced by the dramatic growth forecasts for air transport.”

“The collective goal of ICCAIA manufacturers is to maximise civil aerospace manufacturing industry’s contribution to a safe, secure, sustainable and efficient international air transportation system” added Jan Pie, Chairman of ICCAIA, and Secretary General of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). He added: “promoting those technological advances necessary to support the achievement of safe, sustainable and economical air transport makes aerospace manufacturers key contributors to the economic development of regions everywhere.”

The new Aviation Benefits report, aimed mainly at government leaders and national planners, contains a summarised checklist of the steps to be taken to maximise air transport’s socio-economic influence. It also presents helpful overviews of the related investment and partnership priorities to be pursued, and comprehensive regional summaries showing how aviation is improving prosperity all over the world.

It also provides a comprehensive outline of how international aviation connectivity directly aids governments’ ongoing efforts to achieve 15 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted under Agenda 2030.

“ICAO’s priority is to foster effective partnerships between donors, investors and needful States, and to assist governments in developing solid business cases with clearly defined returns for their major air transport projects,” Dr. Liu added. “We have mapped out how well-supported air services greatly aid governments in attaining 15 of the 17 UN SDGs, and this report helps to reinforce for Ministers and government planners everywhere that they should integrate their aviation development needs into their broader national development strategies.”

As the UN agency for aviation, ICAO supports these partnership and project planning priorities each year during its ICAO World Aviation Forums, the next edition of which will be held this November in Abuja, Nigeria.