IATA Calls for Governments to Support Aviation’s Ability to Drive Economic Growth
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to support the vital role aviation plays in connecting people and commerce around the globe. In a recent speech, IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac said: “Our world has grown much wealthier through trade and travel. Air travel liberates people to live better lives and makes our world a better place. Aviation is the business of freedom and we must continue to work together to make it so.”
Mr. de Juniac began by calling for a reduction in the tax burden on aviation and air travelers, and a new approach to the provision of air traffic services. “The tax burden needs to be reduced. Airlines for America estimates that taxes account for more than a fifth of the cost of the average domestic ticket. In a country as big, beautiful and full of opportunity as the US, why have a taxation policy that discourages travel? Travel stimulates the economy with tourism dollars and business development. We hope that the Trump Administration will create jobs by dramatically reducing the tax burden on travel.”
“Airlines and their passengers suffer the impact of the unpredictable federal budget process on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) provision of air traffic services. The US is falling behind in the introduction of new and more efficient technology. Now is the time to move forward with innovation in the provision of air traffic services. IATA supports the creation of an independent, corporatized non-profit entity to manage US skies. IATA hopes that this will be one of the achievements of the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress.”
Mr. de Juniac also highlighted three areas where airlines and governments need to innovate together:
“Safety is our top priority, which is why flying is the safest way to travel. Innovation plays a role in helping make it safe and it is most successful when industry and government work together. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which is a requirement for membership in IATA, is an example of such innovation. IATA worked with government safety regulators, including the FAA, to develop IOSA. And it is always evolving to make sure that the latest global best practices and technology advancements are incorporated into IOSA’s 900+ standards,” said Mr. de Juniac.
“Security is the responsibility of states but the industry is playing a role. The threat is real and is constantly evolving. We must innovate to be more effective and more efficient. Partnership with governments is critical for the success of Smart Security. And collaborative innovation is the only way to stay a step ahead of those intent on doing aviation harm. It is the only way to secure our vulnerabilities—landside, overflying conflict zones, insider threats or our IT infrastructure,” said Mr. de Juniac.
The New Distribution Capability (NDC), launched by IATA and supported by industry—is an innovation aiming to bring greater transparency to the air travel shopping experience when using a travel agent or online site. Based on XML, rather than the pre-internet standard common today, NDC standards will enable airlines to deliver much more information about their products through the agency channel. Mr. de Juniac said a regulation proposed in the last days of the Obama Administration to require airlines to display certain ancillary information through the travel agent channel could have the unintended consequence of locking consumers into the older, less flexible and less transparent distribution model. “I hope Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will take a fresh look at whether the US government should be dictating to airlines how and where they must display their products.”