In 1944, 52 nations gathered in the US city of Chicago to sign the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The organization is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, and is tasked with developing the principles governing global aviation as well as facilitating the planning and development of international air transport.
The ROC is a founding member of ICAO. In 1971, the ROC lost its representation in ICAO. Yet the ROC continues to abide by the Convention, and, thanks to friendly countries who are also ICAO members, is able to obtain information about ICAO decisions in a roundabout way, allowing it to amend its laws in line with ICAO regulations. Moreover, Taiwan does its utmost to ensure the safety of air traffic in and through the Taipei Flight Information Region it governs.
The Taipei FIR covers some 180,000 square nautical miles, and abuts the Fukuoka, Manila, Hong Kong, and Shanghai flight information regions. The Taipei FIR, standing between Japan and the Philippines and running along mainland China’s southeast coast, provided more than 1.53 million navigation services to aircraft carrying more than 50 million passengers in 2015. The Taipei FIR forms an indispensible part of the East Asia aviation network.
In 2013, the President of ICAO Council invited Taiwan to attend the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly as guests and under the name Chinese Taipei CAA. By participating in the Assembly, Taiwan was able to gain important information firsthand, and better understand the direction the ICAO is heading vis-à-vis flight standards. Our participation also afforded the opportunity to interact with other countries and international civil aviation agencies on key issues concerning global aviation. In general, the inclusion of Taiwan in the ICAO would help improve management of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region and ensure the safety of all passengers.
Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO Assembly is but one step in its bid for professional, pragmatic and constructive participation in ICAO. Building on the foundation that has been laid, the ROC will continue to generate international consensus as it seeks broader participation in the organization’s meetings, activities, and mechanisms. The aim is for Taiwan to fully integrate into the global aviation network and do its part to help achieve ICAO’s goal of a seamless sky.