Ülkemizin Icao Konsey Üyeliğine Seçilmesi Nedeniyle Büyükelçi, Daimi Temsilci Ali Rıza Çolak'ın Ecac Dergisine Verdiği Mülakat
Ali Rıza Çolak was appointed as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the ICAO in 2015. Following the recent elections during the 39th ICAO Assembly this year, H.E. Mr Çolak was appointed to the Council on behalf of Turkey, representing the Black Sea Caspian Group (BSCG).
1 –What are your ambitions and objectives for your term as ICAO Council member?
Turkey is one of the founding members of ICAO and has been permanently represented in the Organization since 1990. It was a member of the ICAO Interim Council from 1946 to 1947 and of the first ICAO Council from 1947 to 1950. Since then, Turkey has not held a seat in the governing body of the Organization and we are therefore delighted that the international community has recognized the impressive developments in every aspect of civil aviation in Turkey. We highly appreciate the valuable support of the 156 ICAO Member States which voted for Turkey in the Council elections.
Today, Turkey, with a civil aviation sector employing more than 190 000 men and women, has also started producing training planes with EASA certification, unmanned aerial vehicles, and parts for primary aircraft manufacturers. Turkey operates three of the fastest-growing airports in Europe. The new Istanbul Airport will be the biggest in the world, with a yearly capacity of 150 million passengers when completed. Turkish air traffic controllers successfully direct international flights through the busiest and most challenging air corridors in the world. Last but not least, the high service quality and wide scope of operations of Turkish Airlines are internationally acknowledged facts.
In addition to the strong ties with ICAO, ECAC, EUROCONTROL and EASA, Turkey has decided to start a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement with the European Union. Under these circumstances, and in light of the huge growth of Turkish aviation in the past decade, we believe that our Council membership will considerably contribute to the work of ICAO. I can assure you that Turkey will be a cooperative, supportive and, above all, fair Council member in the years ahead. We will share our experiences in order to support the “No Country Left Behind” campaign and continue our financial and educational support to the appropriate programmes, such as the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa (AFI Plan). We also attach importance to the latest Assembly Resolution regarding the increase in the number of ICAO Council seats from 36 to 40 and the number of Air Navigation Commission members from 19 to 21. Bearing in mind the emerging civil aviation powers around the globe, we believe these increases will provide a better environment for a well-defined representation in both bodies. Accordingly, Turkey would urge Member States to ratify these changes as soon as possible.
2 – Can you tell us more about the rotation group of States you are representing?
Turkey represents the Black Sea and Caspian Group (BSCG) on the ICAO Council this triennium. BSCG is a young rotation group. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are its other Member States. Directors General of the BSCG States held their first co-ordination meeting on 19 October 2016 in Istanbul. The structural work of the group, such as designating liaison officers, establishing task forces, etc., is still underway. We are confident the BSCG will be successful and Member States will further prove themselves as valuable contributors to international civil aviation.
3 – What is your assessment of the recent ICAO Assembly?
I believe that the 39th ICAO Assembly has been a success. Many important resolutions were adopted in the fields of aviation safety, security and the environment. The Member States reached a consensus on most of the critical issues and demonstrated exemplary cooperation. I sincerely hope that this positive environment of cooperation and mutual understanding may continue through the current triennium.
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