MIAMI – Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar of Colombia will become the new Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Salazar was appointed by the ICAO Council, the 36-state governing body of the organization. His three-year term begins August 1, 2021, according to a press release issued today by the Council.

Salazar succeeds Dr. Fang Liu of China, who has served as Secretary General for two consecutive terms since 2015.

Photo: Mike Russell. Creative Commons de Atribución/Compartir-Igual 3.0 Unported

Extensive Experience

According to ICAO’s press release, the Council appointed Mr. Salazar based on “his extensive professional experience in the administration of complex organizations at the regional, national, and international levels. He is also an expert in aviation law and standards with more than 26 years of work in international negotiations, aviation, management, and public policy.”

Juan Carlos Salazar. Photo: ICAO

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Salazar served as Director General of Civil Aviation of Colombia at Aerocivil, a complex civil aviation organization with more than 3,100 employees and 12 trade unions. He started that position in January 2018.

He oversees a network of 72 public airports and heads the sole air navigation service provider in a country that serves as a key hub for air routes in Latin America. Salazar was also CEO of the Colombian Civil Aviation Organization and worked as Senior Advisor to the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Salazar holds master’s degrees in public administration and air and space law. He speaks fluent Spanish, English, French, and Arabic.


Created as a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1944, the ICAO supports member countries’ diplomacy on international air transport matters.

Since its founding, the organization has adopted over 12,000 standards which have helped to align national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity, and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realized.

ICAO forums provide opportunities for the sharing of advice and advocacy with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognized air transport stakeholders.

Featured image: Headquarters of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. Photo: ICAO