Observer status urged for Taiwan

  • 2013-09-17
  • From wire reports

VILNIUS - In order to allow Taiwan’s civil aviation authorities to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), members of the European Parliament have spoken out in support of Taiwan’s request to be granted observer status by the ICAO, reports ELTA. The International Civil Aviation Organization is an intergovernmental organization responsible for international aviation safety and security.

MEPs representing Lithuania, which currently is holding the Presidency of the EU Council, Vytautas Landsbergis and Laima Andrikiene, urged the ICAO to accept Taiwan’s request to participate as an observer in the triennial ICAO Assembly taking place in Montreal, Canada later this month.

“This would be a significant opportunity for Taiwan to collaborate with other stakeholders in the industry, as well as to enhance and advance air transport safety and security practices in this sector. It is of European and global interest to ensure Taiwan becomes part of the global aviation network to enable it to promote efficiency and security,” stressed Landsbergis, head of the Lithuanian delegation in the EPP Group.

MEP Andrikiene pointed out that: “This course of action is a precedent as it were. As of 2009, Taiwan has been invited by the World Health Organization to attend, as an observer in the World Health Assembly. In addition, the ICAO itself invites observers to attend its meetings, which is reflected in both the organization’s Rules of Procedure as well as its past practices.”

MEPs Landsbergis and Andrikiene argued that the Taipei Flight Information Region (FIR) plays a critical role in this region, covering an area of 180,000 square nautical miles and providing services to nearly 1.3 million controlled flights. In 2012, Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport was recognized as the 13th busiest air freight hub in the world and the 13th busiest airport by international passenger traffic, and Taipei FIR is one of the busiest airspace in East Asia.

“Notwithstanding this, Taiwan has been left out in the cold for more than 40 years. Taiwan’s good services should be appreciated,” concluded Landsbergis.