McGill, ICAO to host aviation conference

McGill, ICAO to host aviation conference McGill University

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McGill Reporter
August 30, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 01
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 40: 2007-2008 > August 30, 2007 > McGill, ICAO to host aviation conference

McGill, ICAO to host aviation conference

From speed limits to the legalities of making a right turn on a red, most people are familiar with the rules of the road. But who lays down the law when it comes to the sky?

McGill's world-renowned Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) will soon be welcoming some of those decision-makers to Montreal as it co-hosts a major conference in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organization. From September 14 to 16, "Aviation Safety, Security & the Environment: The Way Forward" will be held at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel.

The conference, which will draw delegates from government, industry, academic, legal and financial sectors, will immediately precede ICAO's General Assembly, an event many participants will attend as well. For Paul Dempsey, Director of the IASL, choosing the themes for the conference came down to "figuring out what would be most useful, and most likely to be addressed at the assembly."

While safety is always a central issue in aviation, recent events have pushed security and the environment into the spotlight as well. Issues such as emissions taxing and the use of new security technologies will be hotly debated. Dempsey hopes the discussion will have a direct impact on decision-makers in the field. "We won't pass any resolutions. That's for the General Assembly to do," he says. "We're going to introduce them to the experts who can shed some light on what the issues are, what the problems are, what the potential solutions might be. We have the premier institute of air and space law in the world, so part of what we view as our responsibility to the community is to educate."

The IASL's location in Montreal has largely contributed to its ability to draw top academics and garner its reputation. This city is also home to, among others, ICAO headquarters, the Canadian Space Agency, and the International Air Transport Association. "Because Montreal is a centre of international aviation law and policy," says Dempsey, "we're able to draw on that expertise."

This conference will be the fourth that is co-hosted by the IASL and ICAO, whose partnership has helped bridge the gap between the aviation industry and the experts who study it. For Dempsey, the goal of the conference is clear: "People will make more informed decisions and that will benefit everyone who relies on the aviation industry."

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