The eleventh ICAO Air Services Negotiation event (ICAN2018) will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 10 to 14 December 2018 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Amphitheater.
This comes on the heel of the just concluded Blue Economy Conference which Kenya co-hosted with Canada and which was termed as a great success in bringing countries to the ocean economy debate.
It will be hosted by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and expected to be opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The event provides states with a central meeting place to conduct multiple bilateral air services negotiations or consultations.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
The meeting offers a forum for the participants to learn about current trends, discuss and exchange experiences, as well as providing excellent networking opportunities. While parties can choose to disclose their agreements, negotiations between states or regional groups stay private.
During the meeting, Kenya is planning to negotiate 35 bilateral air service agreements with other countries to boost the aviation sector.
Since its inception, the number of countries that utilizes this facility has steadily increased. So far more than a total of 142 States have participated in and benefited from ICAN at least once.
There will be round table discussion session on the benefits of liberalization of International Air Transport with a special focus on air cargo services. There have been several key developments including efforts by ICAO to develop an international agreement to facilitate further liberalization of air cargo services on a global and multilateral basis.
The discussion will highlight the benefits of aviation to economies, especially through the liberalization of air cargo services, and focus on what States and aviation stakeholders can do to support the removal of regulatory barriers, impediments and constraints, in particular, in the area of air cargo services.
“The negotiations would lead to signing agreements or a confidential memorandum of understanding that would create more airspace for the state and improve air connectivity worldwide,” Gilbert Kibe, Director-General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), said in a statement.
“The five-day event is expected to bring together around 800 delegates from around the world United States delegates and key aviation industry stakeholders. So far, more than 80 countries from 192 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have confirmed their participation in the upcoming negotiations,” he said.
Kenya is also seeking a permanent seat on the ICAO Council, which gives the country the opportunity to represent 16 African countries and influence policy in the global aviation agenda.
There will also be a Special Event on improving the regulatory environment of Air Cargo Services. This event will address how to improve the regulatory environment to enhance the liberalization of cargo services.
The reliable and attractive air cargo services are critical especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to connect to distant markets in an efficient manner.
Improving the regulatory environment will also contribute to the flourishing of ecommerce business. ICAO and industry experts will set the scene for interactive panel discussions with presentations on regulatory reforms required to fully liberalize air cargo services.
The outcome of this special event will support the on-going work of the Air Transport Regulation Panel (ATRP) on developing an international agreement to facilitate further liberalization of air cargo services.