Secretary Chao to Address the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will deliver remarks on behalf of the United States to the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada.  Secretary Chao will be joined by David P. Pekoske, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); Stephen M. Dickson, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Ambassador Thomas L. Carter, U.S. Representative on the ICAO Council; and experts from the Department of Transportation, FAA, TSA, and Department of State.

A pioneer of civil aviation, the United States is a founder member of ICAO, which was established by the Convention on Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) in 1944.  Since then, the United States has become the world’s largest aviation market and a leading producer of aviation technologies.  The United States has long been a major contributor to ICAO’s regular budget, a major source of voluntary contributions, and has supplied substantial technical expertise in support of ICAO’s important safety and security objectives.

U.S priorities at the ICAO 40th Assembly include:


  • Continued evolution of ICAO’s high-level frameworks that strengthen global aviation safety and air navigation.
  • Addressing automation dependency in the cockpit by working with ICAO, Member States and the industry to improve pilot skills in manual handling and help pilots take control of the aircraft when automated systems do not function as intended.
  • Establishing a fully coordinated, global aviation trust framework that interconnects the global aviation community and increases information sharing to achieve the operational improvements sought in the global modernization efforts of air navigation.


  • Raising the profile of aviation security worldwide through initiatives such as expediting the development of standards and recommended practices for Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. This will help States to address the threat posed by foreign fighters traveling by aircraft and to deter terrorist travel, as called for UN Security Council Resolution 2309 (2016).
  • Better resourcing and prioritization of the aviation security portfolio within ICAO.
  • Improved process for the development and adoption of security standards, including outcome-focused Standards and guidance material and data-informed impact assessments


  • Continued efforts to increase the aviation sector’s collective effort to combat human trafficking.


  • Ensuring ICAO exemplifies best practices in the UN system, including commitments to transparency, high ethical standards, efficient use of resources, innovative partnerships with the private sector, and results that are both timely and measurable.

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Updated: Monday, September 23, 2019