The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has released the 2017 Preliminary Report of the global civil aviation activities. This comes as a new record of 4.1 billion passengers were carried by the aviation industry on scheduled services in 2017.
According to ICAO in the report obtained by LEADERSHIP, “this indicates a 7.1 per cent increase over 2016. The number of departures rose to approximately 37 million globally, and world passenger traffic expressed in terms of total scheduled revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), posted an increase of 7.6 per cent with approximately 7.7 trillion RPKs performed. This growth is a slight improvement from the 7.4 per cent achieved in 2016.”
ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu in his remarks, attributed the upward performance of the civil air transportation to some factors. He said, “The sustainability of the tremendous growth in international civil air traffic is demonstrated by the continuous improvements to its safety, security, efficiency and environmental footprint.
“This sustainability is the result of concerted efforts and cooperation at the national, regional, and global levels, particularly in terms of ICAO compliancy, which is key to accessing the global network.
“As a UN agency, ICAO is deeply committed to ensuring that all countries have an opportunity to benefit from the doubling in flight and passenger volumes forecast for the next 15 years”, Aliu added.
ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu said, “Air traffic growth is making key contributions towards the achievement of United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, offering an opportunity to lift a generation out of poverty, figuratively and literally.”
This is illustrated by the fact that over half of the world’s 1.2 billion tourists who travelled across international borders last year were transported by air, and that air transport now carries some 35 per cent of world trade by value. Indeed, more than 90 per cent of cross border Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce was carried by air transport.
ICAO Explains in the Preliminary Report some key components that played major roles in the 2017 performance which included air travel growth supported by improving global economic conditions. Another factor according to ICAO was that international scheduled passenger traffic expressed in terms of RPKs grew by 8.0 per cent in 2017, up from the 7.8 per cent recorded in 2016.