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India names bureaucrat for ICAO president

Nasim Zaidi, India's most seasoned aviation bureaucrat, will be the country’s candidate for the prestigious post of president, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

india Updated: Jun 20, 2012 02:00 IST
Tushar Srivastava

Nasim Zaidi, India's most seasoned aviation bureaucrat, will be the country’s candidate for the prestigious post of president, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Created in 1944, ICAO is the highest policy-making body on matters relating to civil aviation. It functions as a specialised agency of the United Nations.

Sources said the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had sounded out to all Indian missions abroad, asking them to garner support for its candidate in the high-profile contest. "A well-thought-out strategy, which would involve extensive campaigning under the MEA’s guidance, is being planned," a source said. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/20-06-pg11b.jpg

Zaidi’s nomination makes him the first ever to be nominated from the Asia-Pacific region for ICAO's presidency. The Asia-Pacific region, particularly India, has witnessed tremendous growth in aviation over the last five years. India is one of the top nine aviation markets in the world, and it is expected to figure among the top three by 2020.

ICAO has 191 member states that constitute the General Assembly. The ICAO Council, which comprises 36 elected countries, votes for the president’s election. To win, India would need the support of at least 19 council members. The election is slated to be held in September 2013.

The president, who is based at the ICAO’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada, is elected for a three-year term, which is extendable by another three years.

Zaidi is India's most experienced aviation bureaucrat. He has served as the head of India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and had completed a four-year stint as the country's representative to ICAO — where he worked as chairman of the administration commission. He is currently serving as the secretary, ministry of civil aviation.

“Zaidi has abundant knowledge in the field, having worked both as the regulator and policy maker for the last 12 years,” a senior official said.

ICAO was created to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation through the world. The organisation sets standards and regulations required for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, besides aviation environmental protection.