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'ICAO should not leave Taiwan behind': transportation minister

2019/11/04 14:22:22

Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) reiterated Monday that Taiwan should not be left out of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is working hard to gain membership.

As a member in the global aviation community, Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to a more seamless flight safety network, Lin said at the opening of the first International Air Safety Summit hosted by Taiwan.

"The ICAO should not leave Taiwan behind," he said, referring to Taiwan's exclusion from the ICAO Assembly in September due to the intervention of China.

Noting that China is not attending the current safety summit in Taipei, Lin said Beijing should "view the issue of flight safety from a global perspective."

Safeguarding civil aviation operations is a common mission of all aviation stakeholders, and Taiwan has been keen to follow world standards and host major aviation meetings to encourage exchanges, Lin said at the summit, which is being attended by some 350 experts from 30 countries.

For example, Taiwan began in 2008 to amend its civil aviation regulations, in response to the ICAO's mandate in 2007 on safety management systems (SMS), a major international air safety code that incorporates organizational structure, accountability, policies and procedures, he said.

Under Taiwan government regulations, national airlines, maintenance facilities, airports, and aviation training organizations have adopted SMS since the end of 2016, Lin said.

Taiwan has also hosted many international air safety conferences, including the ATR Technical Exchange Meeting, Crew Fatigue Risk Management System Conference, and Safety Management System Conference in the second half of 2019 alone, he said.

Such conferences help Taiwan to stay abreast of the latest developments and make contributions in that field, Lin said.

Taiwan is also making efforts to adopt international standards in areas of new technology, he said, citing a recent amendment to the Civil Aviation Act to include regulations on the operation of drones.

Under the amendments that will take effect on March 31 next year, new regulations will be implemented on matters such as remote pilot licenses and designated areas of operation for drones, Lin said.

The annual International Air Safety Summit is being held Nov 4-6 in Taipei, with the participation of experts from around the world, including representatives from the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as well as France's Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In March 2018, Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) , who is also chairman of the Taipei-based China Aviation Development Foundation (CADF), signed a memorandum of understanding with Flight Safety Foundation Vice President Mark Millam for the CADF to host the 72nd annual summit.

Taiwan made a bid to host the summit in 2007 but failed due to pressure from China.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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