IATA Calls For Urgent Action To Address Challenges In The Industry
October 25, 2017 12:37 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for urgent action to address the challenges of infrastructure, regulatory harmonisation and sustainability.
In a statement today, IATA said the Asia-Pacific region faced a difficult challenge in coping with growth in demand with the latest 20-year air passenger forecast expecting 7.8 billion to travel in 2036, almost twice the four billion passengers expected this year.
"More than half the growth will be in the Asia Pacific, with the region accounting for some 2.1 billion new travellers in 2036," it said.
IATA's Director General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said the 34 million jobs and US$700 billion of economic activity supported by aviation across the Asia-Pacific region is expected to more than double in the next 20 years.
"But the realisation of these economic benefits is at risk if the region does not address the big long-term challenges of sustainability, infrastructure and regulatory harmonisation,? he was quoted as saying in an address to delegates attending the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents in Chinese Taipei.
He said Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta are among airports that need major upgrades, while Chinese air traffic management struggles to cope with growth and high costs at India's privatised airports are burdening the industry.
"The challenge for governments is to ensure sufficient capacity that is affordable and in line with airlines' operational requirements," he added.
De Juniac also cautioned against privatisation as a solution to fund infrastructure investments as the conclusion from three decades of largely disappointing experiences with airport privatisation indicated that airports perform better in public hands.
"The primary focus of airports should be to support local and national prosperity as an economic catalyst. But in private hands, shareholder returns take top priority, leading to costs increases. Economic regulation has yet to produce any long-term success stories in balancing national and private interests," he said.
He also emphasised the importance of global standards towards maximising the efficiency of connectivity as this region would benefit from greater regulatory convergence in how global standards are implemented.
"But there are still too many examples of states in the Asia-Pacific not complying with global standards and re-inventing the wheel on issues as wide ranging as developing punitive consumer protection, ignoring just culture in accident investigation and making non-standard security requirements," he said.
De Juniac also called on Asia-Pacific governments to do more to support the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).
"Today 140 flights operate daily using SAF from sources that will not in any way deplete natural resources or negatively impact the ecological balance. There would be more flights if SAF was available in greater quantities and at cheaper prices.
"Governments must take a more proactive role in providing the right incentives to unlock SAF's potential, similar to the support for solar power, electrical vehicles and automotive biofuels," he said.