Qatar touts Doha as ICAO home

The State of Qatar has presented ICAO with an offer to serve as the new permanent seat of the UN aviation agency from 2016.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, which sets international civil aviation standards, has been in Montreal since its founding in 1946.

ICAO’s said it will consider the Qatar proposal under its official obligations under Article 45 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944) and an ICAO Assembly Resolution (A8-5) regarding proposals to move the permanent seat.

These provisions stipulate that the Qatar offer must be considered by all of ICAO’s 191 Member States at the next convening of the triennial ICAO Assembly, which will take place from 24 September through 4 October of this year. A minimum of three-fifths (60  per cent) of ICAO’s Member States must agree to the Qatar proposal for it to be approved.

ICAO said: “Montreal, Canada, has been recognised as the permanent seat of ICAO since 1946. Canada and ICAO are currently discussing an arrangement covering the lease of the ICAO Headquarters premises, which would be effective from 1 December 2016 through 30 November 2036.”

Qatar’s proposal includes construction of new premises, paying to move materials and staffers, and paying for all expenses resulting from staff terminations and severance packages, according to the U.N. agency.

ICAO employs 534 people and says it generates about $80 million annually for Montreal’s economy. Its current headquarters were built in the 1990s at a cost of $100 million.

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