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Dronamics Black Swan 2Dronamics, the world’s first cargo drone airline, announced the appointment of Gavin Gomes as Chief Revenue Officer and a member of its Executive team.

Effective 1st January 2024, Gavin Gomes will step into the role after serving as General Manager, Dronamics Australia since August this year.

The appointment comes as Dronamics prepares for its next phase - the launch of commercial operations, starting in Greece, followed by the rest of the Mediterranean, the Gulf region as well as Australia. Gavin’s track record in senior commercial roles in both start-up and private companies, listed entities and global multinationals, will be central to Dronamics’ evolving its commercial model and creating compelling customer experiences. The company has secured launch customers including Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (Germany), Hellenic Post (Greece), Emirates Post Group (UAE), Aramex (UAE), and will be looking to establish itself in market verticals including e-commerce, parcel and post, perishables, pharma, and spare parts.

Previously, Gavin has led commercial and management teams at companies such as Australia Post, Canon, Telstra, and IBM. His experience includes steering transitions and expansions of multinational companies.

With aviation as one of his life-long passions, Gavin is also a qualified pilot and currently serves as a non-executive director of Royal Victorian Aero Club and CM Pacific Pty Ltd.

Gavin is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a master’s degree in Commerce from the University of NSW, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance.

He succeeds Tim Martin, who is departing Dronamics to explore new opportunities.

“We are delighted to welcome Gavin into the Chief Revenue Officer role. Since joining us, he has consistently demonstrated exceptional management abilities, essential for helping drive Dronamics into its next chapter. His leadership qualities are not only impressive but also align perfectly with our company culture. Gavin's capacity to motivate commercial teams and navigate challenges skillfully is remarkable. We are thrilled to leverage his vast experience and expertise as we embark on the next stage of our company's growth.

“As Gavin steps into his new role, we also acknowledge the contributions of Tim Martin. His work with Dronamics has been very important in our journey, and we are thankful for the dedication he has shown. We deeply appreciate everything he has done for Dronamics and wish him all the best in his new endeavors,’’ said Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics.

EcoPulse hybrid electric EcoPulse, the hybrid-electric distributed propulsion aircraft demonstrator jointly developed by Daher, Safran and Airbus to support aviation’s decarbonization roadmap, has successfully performed its first flight test in hybrid-electric mode.

The demonstrator flew with its ePropellers activated, powered by a battery and a turbogenerator.

EcoPulse took off from Tarbes Airport* on November 29, at 10:32 hrs CEST for a test flight which lasted approximately 100 minutes. During the flight, the crew engaged the electric propellers and verified the proper functioning of the demonstrator's flight control computer, high-voltage battery pack, distributed electric propulsion and hybrid electric turbogenerator.

EcoPulse’s first hybrid flight is the culmination of several technical milestones, including extensive ground tests and 10 hours of flight tests of the aircraft with the electrical system inactive.

“We confirmed today that this disruptive propulsion system works in flight, which paves the way for more sustainable aviation,” said Eric Dalbiès, Safran’s Executive Vice President Strategy and Chief Technology Officer. “The lessons learned from upcoming flight tests will feed into our technology roadmap and strengthen our position as leader in future all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsive systems.”

“This is a major milestone for our industry and we’re proud to have powered the EcoPulse demonstrator first flight with our new battery systems,” said Sabine Klauke, Chief Technical Officer at Airbus. High-energy density batteries will be necessary to reduce carbon emissions from aviation, whether for light aircraft, advanced air mobility or large hybrid-electric aircraft. Projects like EcoPulse are key to accelerating progress in electric and hybrid electric flight, and a cornerstone of our aim to decarbonize the aerospace industry as a whole.”

“The flight campaign will give Daher invaluable data on the effectiveness of the onboard technologies, including distributed propulsion, high-voltage batteries and hybrid-electric propulsion,” commented Pascal Laguerre, Chief Technology Officer at Daher. “We’re working to converge practical and significant know-how on design, certification and operation to shape our path toward more sustainable aircraft for the future.”

Unveiled at the 2019 Paris Air Show, EcoPulse is one of the major collaborative projects in Europe in the field of aviation decarbonization. It is supported by CORAC (the French Civil Aviation Research Council), and co-funded by DGAC (the French Civil Aviation Authority) through France Relance (the French government’s economy recovery plan) and NextGeneration EU. The demonstrator aims to evaluate the operational advantages of integrating hybrid-electric distributed propulsion, with specific emphasis on CO2 emissions and noise level reduction. This disruptive propulsion architecture enables a single independent electrical source to power several electric motors distributed throughout the aircraft.

Based on a Daher TBM aircraft platform, EcoPulse is equipped with six integrated electric thrusters or e-Propellers (supplied by Safran), distributed along the wings. Its propulsion system integrates two power sources: a turbogenerator, i.e. an electric generator driven by a gas turbine (supplied by Safran), and a high-energy density battery pack (supplied by Airbus). At the heart of this architecture is a Power Distribution and Rectifier Unit (PDRU), responsible for protecting the high-voltage network and for distributing the available electrical power, as well as high-voltage power harnesses (both provided by Safran). The battery pack designed by Airbus is rated at 800 Volts DC and can deliver up to 350 kilowatts of power. The demonstrator also benefits from the aerodynamic and acoustic integration expertise of the European aircraft manufacturer. Airbus also developed the Flight Control Computer permitting aircraft maneuvers using the ePropellers, and synchrophasing to support future aircraft acoustic recommendations.

Note: the Ecopulse aircraft demonstrator will be showcased during the Green Aero Days organized in Pau (France) on December 6-7, 2023.

Bechtel vitrification plant Bechtel announced today that it has successfully completed the first set of test glass pours into a stainless-steel storage container designed to hold vitrified radioactive and chemical waste.

This is a critical step in the Department of Energy’s mission to treat waste in southeastern Washington state.

Project craft professionals stand in front of the first 7.5-foot-tall and 4-foot-wide stainless-steel container filled with molten test glass. Attendees at today’s event were able to leave their mark on the milestone by signing the container, which will be stored locally to mark this significant step toward protecting the nearby Columbia River.

The Bechtel-designed Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant is a one-of-a-kind vitrification facility that will use two melters to treat low-level chemical and radioactive waste and protect the nearby Columbia River from waste dating back to World War II and the Cold War. Learn more about Bechtel’s role in the project here.

Earlier this summer, the Bechtel team heated the first of the two 300-ton melters in the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once at that operating temperature, 30,000 lbs. of frit, or small glass beads sourced from a local business, were added to the melter to form a pool of molten test glass. Today, the Bechtel team celebrates the successful filling of the first container with clean test glass, marking a major milestone for the project.

Project Director and Bechtel Senior Vice President Brian Hartman said: "The Bechtel team has made history by filling the first stainless-steel container with molten test glass from the world's largest nuclear waste melter. This accomplishment stands as a testament to our unwavering dedication to safety, excellence, and collaboration. Our team has worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone. Their tenacity and dedication are truly inspiring.”

The test glass poured is “clean,” which means it only includes the molten frit with no chemical simulants or radioactive waste.

The first of the specially designed stainless-steel containers that will eventually hold vitrified low-activity chemical and radioactive tank waste has now completed its journey through the LAW Facility.

Looking into the first container that was filled with clean glass at the Waste Treatment Plant in Washington State. Bechtel colleagues have been working to build a plant that will treat chemical and radioactive waste stored at the Hanford site. Today that hard work was celebrated by a special event at the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility.

President of Bechtel National, Inc., Dena Volovar said: “I am immensely proud of our team for the attention to detail and dedication to safety that has led them to this milestone. This sort of focus will be vital as the team begins the rigorous cold and hot commissioning processes, and applying lessons learned from the heatup of the first melter to the second. The mission to clean up waste and protect the local community and environment is one Bechtel is proud to support.”

During the cold and hot commissioning process, tests will be conducted using non-radioactive simulants to ensure the LAW Facility is operating as expected.

Fast Facts: Each stainless-steel container measures 7.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide; When filled, each stainless-steel container will weigh approximately 6.8 metric tons; Once fully operational, the LAW Facility will process 5,300 gallons of tank waste each day and fill 3.5 containers each day; The containers of vitrified low-activity waste will be trucked from WTP to the Hanford Site’s Integrated Disposal Facility; Vitrification Defined: Vitrification is a process to convert chemical and radioactive waste into an immobilized form safe for storage or disposal by mixing the waste with glass-forming materials and heating it to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Andrew Mueller Crowley Andrew Mueller has joined Crowley as vice president of government relations where he will be leading the company’s activities at the federal level with members of Congress and the Administration.

His leadership will strengthen the company’s advocacy for laws, policies, and regulations that support the comprehensive array of Crowley’s business strategy and growth.

Mueller joins Crowley with more than 20 years of in-depth experience in federal advocacy and strong expertise in defense and national security. Mueller most recently served as senior director of policy and international development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, where he led active legislative proposals and programs that strategically served business operations and development activities for General Atomics technologies as well as foreign military sales, marketing and export licensing efforts for advanced naval systems.

“We’re excited to welcome Andrew as he joins Crowley’s government relations team where he will help direct our relationships and understanding of legislative and policy environments as well as engagements affecting the industry and the company,” said Crowley’s Chief Legal and Risk Officer, Parker Harrison. “He will be a great addition to VP of Global Government Relations Clay Heil’s team to further advance our partnership with the government and military at home and abroad. Crowley’s supply chain solutions will be strengthened by Andrew’s expertise and leadership.”

Mueller earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a veteran, having served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during a two-decade military career.

Luka Koper Strategic Business Plan The Supervisory Board of Luka Koper d.d. has on 30th November 2023 discussed and approved the Strategic Business Plan of the Company and the Luka Koper Group for the period 2024-2028.

In the coming five-year period, Port of Koper’s mission will be to provide reliable, high-quality port services in line with the guidelines of sustainable development, with the aim of becoming the first choice among the ports on the European southern transport route. The planned development is based on four pillars: increasing infrastructure capacity and capability, accelerating the introduction of the “Smart Port” concept, ensuring adequate staffing and taking care of sustainability aspects by reducing negative impacts on the environment and society. The multi-purpose port model, which is one of the key competitive advantages of our Company, is also being maintained.

The Company’s key strategic objectives include growth in total operating revenue to EUR 413 million and growth in total throughput by 3.5% p.a., with a focus on the container and automotive segments which continue to be the strategic commodity groups of the Port of Koper. The Company will pay particular attention to infrastructure development and capacity expansion, investing €785 million to this end. We will be active in seeking funding for investment projects, with a focus on building infrastructure to supply ships with electricity directly from shore. In addition, we will continue our digital transformation process aimed at automating and optimising key processes and accelerate the implementation of green transition activities. In this context, we will strive to maintain our environmental sustainability standards (EMAS), reduce the Company’s carbon footprint and increase the Company’s energy self-sufficiency with renewable sources.

DB UEFA 2024 Deutsche Bahn (DB) is getting into the football spirit.

Thanks to special offers and more trains for Football European Championship matches, all fans and the 24 national teams will be able to travel by climate-friendly train during the upcoming UEFA EURO 2024™. DB will offer nearly 10,000 additional seats each day on ICE and Intercity trains around match days.

"UEFA intends to host a climate-friendly European Football Championship in Germany in 2024," says Dr. Michael Peterson, Member of the Management Board for Long Distance Passenger Transport at DB. "We look forward to supporting UEFA EURO 2024™ as a strong partner. Big events can't be climate-friendly without trains: People traveling to and from these events are responsible for up to 80% of the emissions. We're putting all the trains we have onto the rails for the sustainable European Championships next year, and that's a lot. This year alone, we have received three brand new ICE trains every month."

Anyone with a ticket to a match and traveling within Germany can purchase discounted tickets for the journey to the match and back. The DB Ticket EURO 2024 will cost EUR 29.90 per trip and can be booked at bahn.de/db-fussball-ticket beginning January 17.

For the first time, a special offer will be available to ticket holders from other European countries, too. Fans can purchase an Interrail Pass discounted by 25% for UEFA EURO 2024™, which is good for travel between Germany and 32 countries. Customers can choose from a set number of travel days on which to use the pass for travel to and from the destination as well as for unlimited travel within Germany on those days. The Interrail Pass EURO 2024 will also go on sale on January 17. More information will be available in the UEFA Event Guide as of December 2: uefa.com/euro2024/event-guide

DB is expecting tens of thousands of additional passengers on trains to the venues. As part of its Strong Rail strategy, DB set the course for its fleet expansion well in advance. Thanks to these efforts, it now has a modern ICE fleet, which will grow to over 400 trains in the coming months. DB is significantly expanding its timetable during the championship period. It will use longer ICE trains and offer trains on additional days, for example. What's more, 14 special EURO trains will run daily. 10,000 additional seats are already firmly planned into the timetable in the days around the matches. Even more will be added once the results of the EURO Final Draw for the group stage are known and the routes requiring additional capacity are identified. Additional special trains will then be planned at short notice for the final.

The additional capacity is primarily intended for late evening and overnight connections in order to offer many travel options for departures from the matches. During the tournament, DB will nearly double the number of travel options after 11 pm from the 10 venues to the 20 busiest long-distance stops.

Dachser Atlanta warehouseDachser is growing its capacities in warehousing in the United States.

With the opening of a new facility in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has inaugurated its second warehouse in the Atlanta area and its fourth multi-user warehouse in the country. In terms of both surface and pallet positions, it is by far the largest Contract Logistics facility of Dachser in the United States.

With a surface of 130,000 sq. ft, the warehouse features space for 16,500 pallets. With 27 gates, efficient infrastructure for the loading and unloading of trucks is given. Thanks to sophisticated inventory management systems and inbound and outbound operations of goods, efficient warehousing can be provided even for the most demanding customers. This is complemented by several value-added services that are offered on site, including pick and pack solutions.

In the warehouse, the Dachser-own warehouse management system Mikado is used. Mikado is integrated into the entire transport process and is evolving constantly, creating maximum transparency, continuity and security. For US customers that already have a business relationship with Dachser in Europe, usage of the software in the United States is connected to many advantages as the software is globally consistent.

“With our own warehouse facilities in the United States, Dachser USA can offer its customers logistics solutions from one single source,” says Thorsten Schoenwetter, Director Logistics Product for the Americas region at Dachser. “With the opening of the dedicated warehouse in Atlanta, we grow our nationwide network and increase our footprint in the Southeast of the United States.”

A few miles southwest of downtown Atlanta, the warehouse is located in a strategically advantageous location. While all major highways and interstates are within closest vicinity, Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport is less than five miles away. The ports of Mobile (Alabama), Charleston (South Carolina) and Savannah (Georgia) are all located within a five-hour driving radius.

In line with the company’s local growth strategies, the new warehouse in Atlanta adds another facility to the growing network of Dachser warehouses in the United States. With two warehouses in the Atlanta area and two further ones in Chicago, Dachser has currently four multi-user warehouses in the country. Next to the availability of Mikado, customs clearance services, CTPAT registration, cargo screening and options for road transport complement the range of offerings.

“This setup supports us to further develop our global warehouse network and provides efficient and tailor-made transport and warehousing services plus value-added services to our customers in the United States,” says Thomas Klare, Head of Corporate Contract Logistics at Dachser’s Head Office in Kempten, Germany.

Located in 11 branches across the United States, Dachser’s logistics experts possess in-depth product, industry and market knowledge. If you are interested in our warehousing solutions in Atlanta or in other regions of the United States, do not hesitate to contact your local Dachser representative.

Emirates space Emirates, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), is celebrating the UAE’s visionary national space initiatives with a one-off special flight.

National heroes Dr Sultan AlNeyadi, who recently returned from a 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS) and Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut in space were guests of honour onboard. The MBRSC team has played a key role in fostering a strong and diverse space sector by developing its capacities and expertise to compete on the global stage through conducting a number of missions and projects for the UAE.

The Emirates A380 was emblazoned with a specially designed astronaut decal, celebrating the UAE’s vision to build its capabilities in space exploration and aerospace innovation on the global stage. Commanded by Captain Abdalla Abdelrahman Al Hammadi and First Officer Alex Van Der Veer, EK2641 took off from Dubai International Airport at 12:00, cruising across all seven Emirates. Joining the astronauts onboard were Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, astronauts Sultan AlNeyadi, Hazzaa AlMansoori and crew members of Expedition 69 along with close to 200 employees from MBRSC.

Before take-off, Dr Sultan AlNeyadi and Hazzaa AlMansoori visited Emirates Headquarters and were welcomed by Emirates' President Sir Tim Clark and Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha. Emirates employees then had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a Q&A followed by a meet and greet with the two admired astronauts.

H.E. Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC said: “We are grateful to Emirates for this exceptional gesture, honouring the astronauts and the team at MBRSC. Today's event symbolised our shared vision and commitment to pioneering and recognizing the contributions of the aerospace sector. As we look to the future, MBRSC remains dedicated to driving the UAE and the region towards new frontiers in space exploration and innovation. With our leadership's futuristic vision, we are ready to uncover new discoveries, achieve milestones, and further enhance our nation's global presence in the field of space.”

Adel Al Redha, Emirates COO said: “We are honoured to celebrate the successful mission and return of Dr Sultan AlNeyadi, as well as the ground-breaking work of MBRSC to propel the UAE’s flourishing space sector. Whether it’s soaring through the skies or rocketing into the atmosphere, Emirates pilots and MBRSC astronauts share a passion for discovery and are a source of innovation and inspiration for all. As MBRSC pioneers the final frontier, Emirates’ vast network of over 140 destinations across six continents enable earth-bound travellers to explore almost every corner of the world. Together, we will continue to support the UAE’s vision to unveil new knowledge and discover new horizons, both on and off planet.”

Established in 2006, MBRSC is an advanced scientific and technological hub, responsible for making the UAE a world leader in space services and exploration. In addition to the world-class UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC is an incubator of innovation, developing some of the world’s most high-accuracy, high-resolution imaging satellites to produce data and analysis for the global scientific and research communities. MBRSC also launched several exploration initiatives, including the successful Emirates Mars Mission in 2021 which has been collecting essential data on the red planet’s atmosphere for over one Martian year – equivalent to approximately two Earth years.

With the clear synergies between aviation and aerospace, Emirates is also contributing to the country’s ecosystem. The Emirates Flight Training Academy, with its cutting-edge technologies, is one of the most advanced pilot training programmes in the world, preparing the next generation of aviators to push boundaries as they take to the skies. With 289 cadets currently enrolled, 222 of whom are Emirati, and a further 120 who graduated and are now flying for Emirates, the airline is committed to developing the country’s pipeline of talented and experienced pilots.

Virgin sustainable Virgin Atlantic’s historic flight on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) takes off from London Heathrow to New York JFK today, marking the culmination of a year of radical collaboration, to demonstrate the capability of SAF as a safe drop-in replacement for fossil derived jet fuel, compatible with today’s engines, airframes and fuel infrastructure.

SAF has a significant role to play in the decarbonisation of long haul aviation, and pathway to Net Zero 2050. The fuel, made from waste products, delivers CO2 lifecycle emissions savings of up to 70%, whilst performing like the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

While other technologies such as electric and hydrogen remain decades away, SAF can be used now. Today, SAF represents less than 0.1% of global jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow for just a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. Flight100 will prove that the challenge of scaling up production is one of policy and investment, and industry and government must move quickly to create a thriving UK SAF industry.

As well as proving the capabilities of SAF, Flight100 will assess how its use affects the flight’s non-carbon emissions with the support of consortium partners ICF, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Imperial College London and University of Sheffield. The research will improve scientific understanding of the effects of SAF on contrails and particulates and help to implement contrail forecasts in the flight planning process. Data and research will be shared with industry, and Virgin Atlantic will continue its involvement with contrail work through RMI’s Climate Impact Task Force, which is part-funded by Virgin Unite.

The SAF used on Flight100 is a unique dual blend; 88% HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) supplied by AirBP and 12% SAK (Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) supplied by Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. The HEFA is made from waste fats while the SAK is made from plant sugars, with the remainder of plant proteins, oil and fibres continuing into the food chain. SAK is needed in 100% SAF blends to give the fuel the required aromatics for engine function. To achieve Net Zero 2050, the innovation and investment needed across all available feedstocks and technologies must be harnessed to maximise SAF volumes as well as continuing the research and development needed to bring new zero emission aircraft to market.

Virgin Atlantic is committed to finding more sustainable ways to fly, taking action across every part of the journey. Already operating one of the youngest and most fuel and carbon efficient fleets in the sky, Flight100 builds on the airline’s 15-year track record for leading on the development of SAF at scale. Collectively, industry and government must go further, to create a UK SAF industry and meet aviation’s 10% SAF by 2030 target, capitalising on the significant social and economic benefits it will bring – an estimated contribution of £1.8 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK and more than 10,000 jobs.

Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic said: “Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be usedas a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it’s the only viable solution for decarbonising long haul aviation. It’s taken radical collaboration to get here and we’re proud to have reached this important milestone, but we need to push further. There’s simply not enough SAF and it’s clear that in order to reach production at scale, we need to see significantly more investment. This will only happen when regulatory certainty and price support mechanisms, backed by Government, are in place. Flight100 proves that if you make it, we’ll fly it.”

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Atlantic said: “The world will always assume something can’t be done, until you do it. The spirit of innovation is getting out there and trying to prove that we can do things better for everyone’s benefit.

“Virgin Atlantic has been challenging the status quo and pushing the aviation industry to never settle and do better since 1984. Fast forward nearly 40 years, that pioneering spirit continues to be Virgin Atlantic’s beating heart as it pushes the boundaries from carbon fibre aircraft and fleet upgrades to sustainable fuels.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be onboard Flight100 today alongside the teams at Virgin Atlantic and our partners, which have been working together to set the flight path for the decarbonisation of long-haul aviation.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Today’s historic flight, powered by 100% sustainable aviation fuel, shows how we can both decarbonise transport and enable passengers to keep flying when and where they want.

“This Government has backed today’s flight to take-off and we will continue to support the UK’s emerging SAF industry as it creates jobs, grows the economy and gets us to Jet Zero.”

Sheila Remes, Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Boeing said: “In 2008 Virgin Atlantic and Boeing completed the first commercial SAF test flight on a 747 and today we will accomplish yet another significant milestone utilising a 787 Dreamliner. This flight is a key step toward our commitment to deliver 100% SAF-compatible airplanes by 2030. As we work toward the civil aviation industry’s net-zero goal, today’s historic journey highlights what we can achieve together.”

Simon Burr, Group Director of Engineering, Technology & Safety, Rolls-Royce plc, said: “We are incredibly proud that our Trent 1000 engines are powering the first ever widebody flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel across the Atlantic today. Rolls-Royce has recently completed compatibility testing of 100% SAF on all our in-production civil aero engine types and this is further proof that there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF. The flight represents a major milestone for the entire aviation industry in its journey towards net zero carbon emissions.”

IMO Secretary General IMO Assembly approves decision of Council to appoint Mr. Dominguez Velasco as Secretary-General with effect from 1 January 2024.

​Mr. Kitack Lim handed a comprehensive briefing paper to Mr. Dominguez to assist him in his preparation for the role of Secretary-General.

Mr. Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco has been confirmed as the next Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO Assembly unanimously approved (30 November) the decision of the Council at its 129th session (C129) to appoint him to the role.

Mr. Dominguez Velasco will take up the office of Secretary-General on 1 January 2024 for an initial term of four years, ending on 31 December 2027. He becomes the Organization's 10th elected Secretary-General.

The outgoing Secretary-General, Mr. Kitack Lim, congratulated his successor on his appointment. Mr. Lim said:

"I am confident that the Membership as a whole has made a wise decision, and that Mr. Dominguez Velasco will ably lead the Secretariat in promoting the mandate of the Organization and in the delivery of its objectives."

Mr. Lim pledged to work with Mr. Dominguez Velasco to ensure an orderly and successful hand-over and, in what he called a "symbolic act of transition and succession", he handed a comprehensive briefing paper to Mr. Dominguez to assist him in his preparation for the role of Secretary-General.

Addressing the Assembly, Mr. Dominguez Velasco said: "You have my full commitment to build on the great work that has been done by my predecessors, taking what is already a significant and influential organization, to be an institution that will thrive in delivering its full agenda, from safety to decarbonization, from digitalization to the human element; an International Maritime Organization that not only looks towards the future, but does more in embracing change, diversity, inclusion and transparency; one that is dedicated to its people, from all the very professional staff that form the IMO Secretariat, to our seafarers worldwide and perhaps most importantly, a dedication to the younger generations, the ones we are obliged to hand over to, to hand over a planet that is a better place to live in."

He concluded, "I want to reiterate how much I'm looking forward to leading IMO, to continue working with all of you, an extraordinary group of people who have demonstrated time and time again that we can deliver, by listening and understanding each other, sharing our aims and concerns. I'm very lucky to start with an already great team of professionals in the Secretariat who also want what is best for the Member States and all our stakeholders."

Mr. Arsenio Dominguez Velasco is currently Director of IMO's Marine Environment Division, a post he has held since January 2022. He joined the IMO Secretariat in 2017 as Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General, Kitack Lim. In 2020 he was appointed as Director of the Organization's Administrative Division.

His maritime career began in 1996 as a port engineer at Armadores del Caribe in Panama, then becoming a Drydock Assistant Manager at Braswell Shipyard.

In 1998 Mr. Dominguez Velasco moved to London to join the Panama Maritime Authority as Head of the Technical and Documentation Regional Office for Europe and North of Africa. He went on to represent Panama in a variety of roles at the organization, culminating in his appointment as Panama's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to IMO between 2014 and 2017.

During this time, Mr. Dominguez Velasco chaired IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), and in 2015 he chaired the Technical Committee of the 25th session of the IMO Assembly. He has also chaired the Maritime Security – Piracy and Armed Robbery Working Group under the auspices of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee.

Mr. Dominguez Velasco was born in the Republic of Panama. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Fermin Naudeu Institute in Panama before going on to study Naval Architecture at the University of Veracruz, Mexico, from where he graduated in 1995. Mr. Dominguez Velasco also holds an MBA from the University of Hull, and a Certificate of Higher Education in International Law and European Politics from Birkbeck University, both in the United Kingdom.

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