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ICAO – Who is to lead it as next head??

ICAO – Who is to lead it as next head??

The announcement last year of the nomination of McCormick [ex-CASA ceo] for the ICAO position, proposed late in 2014, by Mike Mrdak’s Department of Infrastructure.

DPM Warren Truss confirmed it recently.

Looks like there is a serious contender, with broad aviation experience at a high level from the attached article.

The position, which commences in 2015, is not a lay-down for the Australian candidate. It would be interesting to see the response of the Senate aviation committee and whether the committee, which included Senator Nash at the time, would provide any support to McCormick.

Of course, there was a 2008 report into CASA, it’s processes and the aviation system in Australia. This report, which you can read here: 2008 CASA Audit – is not a good look.

Chinese Air-Safety Veteran Set to Lead UN Agency

Andy Pasztor
17 Feb, 12:20 PM

A veteran Chinese air-safety official is the front-runner to become the next head of the aviation arm of the United Nations, heralding potential diplomatic and cultural changes at the agency, according to people familiar with the details.

Fang Liu would be the first Chinese national and the first woman to lead the International Civil Aviation Organization, which has 191 member countries and sets non-binding safety standards for carriers and regulators.

Ms Liu — currently the director of the agency’s Bureau of Administration and Services — has benefitted from a concerted effort by the Chinese government to lobby on her behalf, and she has personally met with and garnered the support of key African and Latin American delegations, some as recently as last month.

Barring a last-minute shift in sentiment, the agency’s policy-making body is expected to vote her in next month.

Underscoring the rapid growth of commercial aviation in China and other Asian countries, Ms Liu would take the reins of a 71-year-old agency in which the top position, historically, has been held by men from Europe, North America or the Middle East.

The current secretary-general, Raymond Benjamin, is French; he is wrapping up his second three-year term.

The vote by the agency’s 36-member council isn’t expected to be close, according to these people. The other candidates come from Australia, India and the United Arab Emirates.
An agency spokesman declined to comment, and said Ms Liu also didn’t have any comment.
The vote comes as senior agency officials prepare to prod some Asian governments harder to beef up regulation of their airlines, and Ms Liu could accelerate those efforts. From 2008 to 2012, “deficiencies in regulatory oversight” played a role in roughly one-third of plane crashes in Asia, according to the agency.

Meanwhile, China’s own aviation ambitions depend on the government easing restrictions on air routes and opening up more airspace for commercial flights. “She will really be under a microscope”, said one industry official. “The other member states”, this official added, “will be watching very closely what policies she follows, and the staff she brings with her”.

The Montreal-based ICAO has no direct enforcement role, but the results of its audits often prompt governments to enhance aviation budgets and adjust priorities. It also serves as the premier clearinghouse for technical information about flight safety, airport facilities and air-traffic control procedures.

ICAO, which like other UN agencies operates on consensus-based policies, has been particularly active recently, staking out positions to ensure universal tracking of airliners, even those flying long over-water routes outside typical ground-based radar coverage. Under the leadership of Mr. Benjamin and Nancy Graham, an American who is stepping down in March as ICAO’s top safety official, the agency also has pushed governments to be more transparent in providing information about dangers to aircraft posed by hostile zones.

Educated in China and the Netherlands, Ms Liu worked for China’s civil aviation authority before joining ICAO in late 2007. In addition to Chinese, she speaks English and French.

An example of Beijing’s efforts is an August 2014 letter, from China’s top aviation regulator to the president of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission, requesting support for her candidacy.

The letter notes that “as one of the founding members of ICAO”, China plans to “work more closely” with other countries to promote the “safe, secure, orderly and sustainable development” of international civil aviation. Support for Ms Liu’s candidacy “would be highly appreciated” the letter concludes.

This article was first published by Dow Jones and is reproduced here with permission.

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