By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Russia has been voted out of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly for aviation which began this past week in Montreal, Canada over its invasion of Ukraine.
The ousting of Russia followed a democratic vote by member states and is the first time a country has been kicked out from the premier category of the decision-making council at the United Nations organisation for aviation.
After the vote by over 170 countries, Russia refused to recognise the results of the election, demanding a second vote but a majority of countries said the election was free, fair and final.
This move is considered a huge moment for ICAO where the status quo has been ‘constant’ in the last 70 years.
ICAO is a specialist agency of the United Nations set up to define international safety, environmental and operating standards for commercial aviation and currently has more than 190 countries as members.
About three months ago, it was reported that European aviation leaders met with other countries to solicit votes that would ensure the election would be the chance to democratically oust Russia from the council.
The president of Nigeria’s National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Abednego Galadima, who is currently in Canada for the General Assembly, told Daily Sun that the implication of voting Russia out of ICAO means that the country will lose collaboration opportunities with member states.
It also means that Russia will no more be subjected to international regulations and without ICAO regulations, no country will trust the safety of equipment (aircraft) that operates in Russia and their flights would not be allowed to operate into the airspace of ICAO member countries.
The United States will also withdraw the Category One status given to countries that have met the given standard of safety by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This means that any aircraft registered in Russia would not be operating in the United States.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is responsible for ensuring safety and environmental protection in air transport in Europe, will also block Russia from flying to any European destination.
Russia will not participate in global aviation events and their aircraft will be deemed unsafe and will not be allowed into any ICAO member states’ airspace.