International Civil Aviation Day: Social and economic benefits of the global flight network
International Civil Aviation Day, like every other year, is being celebrated today on December 7 to highlight the role of civil aviation in 21st-century transportation, and the importance it plays in connecting people and enhancing social and economic development around the world. Marked every year since 2013, the International Civil Aviation Day intends to spread worldwide awareness regarding the contributions of the civil aviation industry and the unique role of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in helping countries cooperate and realise a global rapid transport network.
Why is International Civil Aviation Day celebrated?
According to the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Day serves the purpose of highlighting the importance of international civil aviation organisations in air travel across the globe. The international UN body keeping track of this entire operation is the ICAO, which is also accountable for maintaining the safety standards of international civil aviation.
As we celebrate International Civil Aviation Day, it is only fitting to emphasize continuing the efforts to reconnect the world to recover and revive the industry amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Why are civil aviation and the ICAO important?
The aviation industry itself is a source of considerable economic activity, creating jobs that directly serve passengers at airlines, airports, and air navigation services providers. These include check-in, baggage handling, on-site retail, cargo, and catering facilities. Moreover, aviation directly enables jobs in the manufacturing sector (those companies that produce aircraft, engines, and other vital technologies).
Apart from these, the indirect impacts include employment and economic activity generated by suppliers to the aviation industry: aviation fuel suppliers; construction companies that build airport facilities; suppliers of subcomponents used in aircraft; manufacturers of goods sold in airport retail outlets; and a wide variety of activities in the business services sector (such as call centres, information technology and accountancy).
According to the UN, the contribution of aviation to the global economy is approximately equivalent to the overall GDP of the United Kingdom.
Aviation also creates unique possibilities for empowering nations and people, regardless of their geographic location. It is a means of allowing people to access what they need: improved livelihoods, food, healthcare, education, safe communities and spaces, etc.
Whether it be responses to crises in hours of dire need, humanitarian aid, or leisure activities like vacations and visiting friends and relatives, aviation plays a vital role in promoting social causes and satisfying needs around the world. For all vulnerable groups, as well as for migrant communities and people living in remote and low-density rural areas, air transport services are a lifeline to enhance their social inclusion.