IATA Director General and CEO says governments must collaborate with aviation leaders

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, has called for governments to enhance their collaboration with the air transport industry.

Delivering his Report on the Global Air Transport Industry to the 73rd IATA AGM in Cancun, de Juniac highlighted a number of areas that would benefit from government assistance.

Hastily-built regulation almost always brings unintended consequences

These include finalizing the details of the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and finding alternatives to the ban on large portable electronic devices in the cabin by the United States and the United Kingdom on some flights from the Middle East and North Africa.

Governments should also adhere to smarter regulation principles. “Hastily-built regulation almost always brings unintended consequences,” said de Juniac. “That’s why smarter regulation principles are absolutely critical.”

Smarter regulation principles would deliver clearly defined, measurable policy objectives in the least burdensome way.

This would encourage air connectivity, rather than restrict it, and position a country for sustainable aviation growth.

Infrastructure in many parts of the world can barely cope with demand today

Perhaps most importantly, de Juniac called for governments to provide sufficient infrastructure to meet demand.

“An infrastructure crisis is looming,” warned de Juniac. “Infrastructure in many parts of the world can barely cope with demand today. And development plans are not ambitious enough to accommodate the 7.2 billion passengers we expect in 20 years’ time.

“Governments have a responsibility to provide sufficient capacity, with service quality aligned to user expectations and at an affordable cost,” he added.

Privatization is not necessarily the answer. “The concessionaire makes money,” said de Juniac. “The government gets its cut. The airlines pay the bill—usually a big one.”

According to de Juniac, there is no long-term privatization success story in the industry to date.

“When governments privatize critical infrastructure, economic regulation is essential,” he affirmed.

“Finding the solution is an important piece of work that needs government and industry collaboration. It’s the only way to balance the investor’s need for profit with the community’s need for cost-efficient connectivity.”