December 7 is International Civil Aviation Day, the day the United Nations chooses to reflect and focus on the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of societies around the world.
While this day of recognition is different in spirit to humanitarian observation days – such as Human Rights Day (Dec 11) and International Human Solidarity Day (Dec 20) – it nevertheless highlights one of the less acknowledged by-products of the travel industry.
Although the environmental impact of aviation has been under the microscope, with aviation engineers constantly under pressure to develop more sustainable aircraft systems, the hugely positive contribution that aviation makes to global connectivity has often been undervalued.
Quite simply, without aviation the spread of peace and prosperity would be considerably curtailed. Global connectivity crucially allows for a more efficient platform from which to understand and trade with each other. This was originally acknowledged over seventy years ago in 1944, when delegates from 54 nations signed the ‘Convention on International Civil Aviation’, agreeing on the importance of global aviation to the future of the peoples of the world.
Apart from transporting tourists, business people, diplomats and politicians around the globe, civil aviation hugely assists in the transportation of humanitarian aid, medical assistance and disaster relief.
Economically, as the tentacles of the civil aviation industry continue to stretch far and wide, we in the travel and tourism industry rely hugely on the ability to fly our clients to and from their chosen destinations.
Indeed, looking to the future, as the number of international journeys heads towards the 1.3 billion a year mark, the job of making sure every country’s citizens benefit from an aviation industry offering safe, efficient, accessible, affordable and environmentally-sensitive flight services, is increasingly challenging.
The benefits of aviation, while being celebrated, must continue to be enhanced. For one and all.