The Korea Herald


Aviation experts gather in Seoul to prepare for post-COVID era

By Hong Yoo

Published : April 12, 2022 - 21:41

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South Korea’s Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk gives his opening speech at 2022 ICAO Legal Seminar on Tuesday. (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) South Korea’s Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk gives his opening speech at 2022 ICAO Legal Seminar on Tuesday. (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)
Aviation experts from around the world gathered in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss ways to promote the aviation industry’s safe recovery in the post-pandemic era.

During the 2022 International Civil Aviation Organization’s Legal Seminar hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, South Korea’s Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk pointed out that governments around the world have sought for diverse ways to support the air industry to recover from plunging travel demands by diverting their focus to cargo flights for profit making and easing cargo flight regulations.

“Now, the South Korean government will not only focus on contributing to the international aviation community, but also aid its safe and sustainable development with future aviation technologies by establishing systematic aviation laws and regulations,” said Noh during his opening speech at the seminar.

The ICAO is a UN specialized agency that maintains an administrative and expert bureaucracy supporting diplomatic interactions and research work on new air transport policy and standardization innovations.

The ICAO’s Secretary-General Juan Carlos Salazar took part in the event. Salazar promised to prioritize pandemic recovery and keep vigilance on the organization’s long term strategy to support the development of safe, secure, and sustainable air transport.

The ICAO chief also brought up another concern in the aviation industry over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a topic that did not make the agenda for the seminar.

“I have taken urgent steps to remind member states of their obligations under the Chicago Convention. The ICAO is fully aligned with the views which have been expressed by the United Nations. And I hope that we will see a speedy and peaceful resolution to this conflict,” he said.

He added that ICAO council members are aware of some of the legal issues arising from the current conflict in Ukraine, and will be addressing the matter within the council.

During the seminar, Equatorial Guinea‘s ICAO representative and the Chair of the Aviation Recovery Task Force Estanislao Esono Anguesomo pointed out three ways to promote recovery of the air industry from the pandemic to its endemic phase.

“We should focus on three main areas. The first one is adoption. Adoption will simplify the health protocol with travel barriers removed for full, vaccinated passengers and pre-departure antigen testing for non-vaccinated travelers. The second important aspect is implementation of digital solutions for health credentials, collection of travel information, and communication of travel requirements. Third, application of proper COVID-19 travel management,” Anguesomo said.

At the geopolitical level, the representative said recovery will require collective dialogue and transparency among member states.

The seminar, which is also being livestreamed on YouTube, will continue for the next two days to discuss sustainable growth of the aviation industry and current issues in aviation law and practice.

The Transport Ministry hopes hosting the 2022 ICAO Legal Seminar in Seoul will help South Korea maintain its membership on the ICAO council for an 8th consecutive term.