Aviation leader Dr Assad Kotaite dies

02 / 03 / 2014

  • Dr Assad Kotaite

    Dr Assad Kotaite

UNIVERSALLY recognised as one of the most prominent and respected figures in the world of civil aviation, Dr Assad Kotaite, council president emeritus of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), has died at the age of 89.

A respected leader and visionary who devoted his life to the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world, Kotaite’s remarkable career mirrored the evolution of ICAO for over half a century.

He was deeply instrumental in promoting the critical role of air transport as a driver of economic, social and cultural development worldwide, says an ICAO statement.

Born in Lebanon in 1924, Kotaite’s career with ICAO began in 1953 when he was appointed to the organisation’s legal committee, a position he held until 1970 when he was appointed  secretary general of ICAO and then elected president of the council for eleven successive mandates – from 1976 until his retirement 30 years later in 2006.

His tenure is the longest among senior executives in the history of the United Nations system.

“A consummate diplomat, Kotaite was inspired and guided throughout his career by the preamble to the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, also known as the Chicago Convention,” the statement adds.

The preamble critically sets forth that international civil aviation can greatly help to create and preserve peace, friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world.