On 22 July 2019, Mr. Saksayam Chidchob, Minister of Transport, presided over the Third Global Aviation Cooperation Symposium (GACS2019) at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort. The event allowed aviation professionals to discuss significant challenges, solutions, and best practices for enhancing aviation efficiency. It also focused on promoting the role of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Technical Cooperation Programme and strengthening relationships and cooperation among ICAO, member states, related organizations, and aviation industries including stakeholders at all levels. It also offered a forum for participants to access information, pose questions, and exchange opinions on developing the aviation industry in their respective countries. The event was attended by Mr. Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, Permanent Secretary for Transport; Dr. Chula Sukmanop, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT); Mr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council; and approximately 450 delegates from 193 member states around the world.
This year, ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau (TCB) in close collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and ICAO Asia and Pacific Regional Office organized the symposium under the theme “ICAO: Bridging the SARPs Compliance Gap with Quality and Efficiency”. The event comprised speaker sessions, discussion panels, and presentations covering the main areas of civil aviation. Panel topics included Aviation Infrastructure Development, Bridging the SARPs Compliance Gap, How Experts Support Capacity Building, Supporting Training for Aviation Growth, Regional Approach for Technical Cooperation, and Vision for Aviation’s Future.
GACS2019 had four main goals: (1) Bridging the gap: complying with standards and recommended practices (SARPs). In this context the symposium presented the status of aviation today, underscored the challenges which the aviation industry will face in the near future, and discussed how best to decrease the SARPs compliance gap in order to build and maintain a safe, secure, and sustainable aviation system. (2) Determining unique solutions for capacity building through technical cooperation and assistance projects. State delegates had the opportunity to discuss common constraints, solutions, and best practices shared through the presentation of Technical Cooperation and Technical Assistance projects. In order to build a safe, secure, and sustainable air transport industry, potential solutions were debated and organized into topics, including infrastructure development, training, and capacity building. (3) Promoting the role of ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme in assisting states to achieve their goals. The symposium provided a general overview of services and best practices in ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme in order to assist member states and regional organizations in bridging the non-compliance gap. (4) Strengthening institutional and cross-industry relationships. The symposium allowed ICAO experts, member states, industry providers, as well as national, regional, and international organizations to enhance collaboration among aviation authorities, industry, and other stakeholders through technical cooperation.
GACS is a workshop organized by ICAO every two years. It is regarded as an important world-class forum that contributes to aviation industry development. This year, Thailand was honored to host the event from 22 to 24 July 2019 after reaching the internationally accepted Effective Implementation level in May 2019.