Following is the speech (English only) by the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr Norman Lo, at the opening ceremony of the 41st Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions, at Conrad Hong Kong Hotel today (November 1):
Mr Henry Tang, Dr Taieb Cherif, Mr Lalit Shah, Ms Sandra Lee, Directors General, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
The Civil Aviation Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is privileged and honoured to be the host of the 41st Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions. Please accept our warmest welcome to the conference.
Fellow Directors General will recall that at the last DGCA Conference in Mongolia, we had quite a deliberation on the theme topic for this year's Conference and in the end we have chosen "Partnership in Achieving a Safe, Secure and Efficient Air Transport System through Effective Safety Oversight". We all believe that every stakeholder in the civil aviation community has an individual role to play in contributing to the safe, secure and efficient air transport system. And through effective partnership, we are able to strengthen our capability in enhancing our air transport system. This can only be done by integrating the best people, equipment, knowledge and expertise available around us.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with fellow Directors General, through deliberation at the conference, how the authorities in the regions, and each member of the Hong Kong civil aviation community work interactively and collaboratively with each other.
We treasure the importance of the establishment of partnership between various stakeholders in the regions. During conference discussion, I urge all of you to share your thoughts and experience on various agenda items such as aviation safety and security, air navigation planning, technical co-operation and CNS/ATM implementation activities. The sharing of our unique experience in various areas, not only will make the discussion fruitful and rewarding, but will also help resolving various common issues.
I am sure you all remember, not too long ago, we worked together in difficult times during the economic slowdown and the outbreak of SARS in the region. With the concerted effort of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), authorities in the regions, airports and airline operators, the Asia and Pacific regions had experienced quite a robust growth in aviation business since the beginning of this year. I am proud to say that our Hong Kong International Airport has become one of the busiest airports in the world in terms of international passenger and cargo throughput. I am pleased to say that not only we have recovered, we have come out even stronger.
Finally, I would like to conclude my speech by quoting a statement made by the President of ICAO, Dr Kotaite, in his address at the opening of the 35th Session of the Assembly a few weeks ago: "We must work together towards safe and secure skies, safe and secure airports, protecting the environment, and supporting a sound, stable and revitalised industry."
Dear fellow Directors General, let's build on our good and co-operative relationship to work towards that goal. We will create a win-win partnership for all the states and territories in the Asia Pacific regions! And remember together we fly, and we will fly further and higher.
Ends/Monday, November 1, 2004