The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has held an extraordinary session following a complaint by Qatar, in accordance to article 54 council convention.
Saudi Arabia was represented by a delegation headed by Abdul Hakim Bin Mohammed Al Tamimi, President of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation.
The Chairman of the Council opened the meeting by emphasizing avoidance of political matters and focus on the technical issues that were the responsibility of ICAO.
Qatar’s minister of transport then issued a statement attacking the four boycotting countries and described their decisions as “arbitrary measures”.
Saudi Arabia’s Tamimi objected to the Qatari statement, which did not comply with the reasons for convening the extraordinary session under Article 54 (N), which was devoted to technical matters only. He then noted his rejection of the Qatari statement, which was full of inaccuracies and contrary to reality on behalf of the four countries.
Subsequently, the delegations of the Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt presented a joint working paper, which included actions taken in cooperation with the ICAO Regional Office in Cairo to promote safety over international waters in the Middle East region, which included opening of nine additional air routes to relieve the pressure on current routes over international waters.
The paper received the approval of the members of the Council, who praised the spirit of cooperation among the countries of the region at the level of technicians in civil aviation.
The Secretariat presented a working paper supporting the work paper of the four countries through a technical report that assured the members of the Council of the safety of the air according to the contingency plan which was activated in accordance with Annex 11 of the Chicago Convention.
The Council adopted the following resolutions:
1. Request the Secretariat to continue to implement the contingency plan.
2. Encourage States to cooperate to ensure the implementation of technical solutions.
3. Encourage the Secretariat to update the information regularly and submit it to the Council, beginning with the next session of the Council.
4. Acknowledge the spirit of cooperation and to instruct the President of the Council to use his good offices to facilitate outstanding technical issues, if any.
5. Urge all Member States of ICAO to abide by the spirit of the Chicago Convention and to cooperate to ensure the safety, security, efficiency and sustainability of international civil aviation.