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Opening remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the Association of Star Alliance Pilots (ASAP) Executive Board Meeting Taipei 2023

  • Data Source:Department of NGO International Affairs
  • Date:2023-10-31

Tien, Chung-kwang

 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 October 31, 2023

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good morning!

I would like to thank the Association of Star Alliance Pilots and the Taoyuan Union of Pilots for inviting me to join this meaningful event, which is being held in Taiwan for the first time. It is an excellent opportunity for pilots from around the world to exchange expertise and further international cooperation. I extend a heartfelt welcome to you all. 

Pilots play a crucial role in an increasingly globalized world. I wish to express my appreciation for your dedication, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I know it was not easy, but you endured hardship to ensure that people, medical supplies, and vaccines reached their destinations and helped those in need. 

In the postpandemic era, the demand for global air services has increased significantly. The number of flights is expected to reach 32.4 million in 2023—up 85 percent compared to 2020. As an island country and busy transportation hub, Taiwan understands the importance of aviation. Air travel facilitates the flow of people and goods, as well as connecting Taiwan to the world. It has also helped shape Taiwan’s free and open society and contributed to its economic development.

The International Civil Aviation Organization is working toward the goal of a seamless sky to promote global aviation safety and security. The Taipei Flight Information Region is one of the busiest airspaces in East Asia. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019, the Taipei FIR provided services to over 1.85 million controlled flights and about 72 million travelers arriving, departing or transiting through Taiwan. Therefore, there is no doubt that Taiwan’s meaningful participation in ICAO a key factor to ensure global aviation safety and security. Furthermore, by sharing timely information and expertise, Taiwan Civil Aviation Administration’s participation in ICAO will definitely contribute to mitigating aviation risks. Last but not least, excluding Taiwan has a negative impact on integration of Asia-Pacific region, which is one of the priority elements of recovery from the pandemic.

However, Taiwan has still not been invited to participate in ICAO, creating a dangerous gap in the skies. As a responsible member of the international aviation community, Taiwan looks forward to continuing to enhance cooperation with like-minded friends and partners worldwide. 

In closing, I am confident that you will enjoy Taiwan’s beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. I wish you a pleasant and productive stay, and I wish this event every success. Thank you!