Regulation, costs, security, and infrastructure are key areas, says IATA Director General and CEO

Europe, aviation, priorities

IATA has set out its key areas of focus for the aviation industry in Europe.

In an address to the European Aviation Club, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac called on European policy-makers to prioritize four areas—regulation, costs, security, and infrastructure.

Smarter regulation includes principles such as solving real problems, demonstrating a cost-benefit, minimizing the compliance burden, and consultation to avoid unintended consequences.

IATA will contribute vigorously to the expert discussion in the review of the Airport Charges Directive

De Juniac also called for the reform and empowerment of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and said IATA wants to see European regulations “make the most of technology.”

EU regulations also play a role in adding cost. They also miss opportunities to control the costs of monopoly suppliers.

Airport costs also need to be controlled, noted de Juniac  “Europe’s airports include some of the most expensive in the world,” he said.

“And there is insufficient regulation to challenge airports on cost efficiency. IATA will contribute vigorously to the expert discussion in the review of the Airport Charges Directive.”

In terms of security, de Juniac said that airlines understand the need for passenger information to power government intelligence efforts.

We are beefing-up our resources and fully supporting the ICAO’s efforts

“But there is room for efficiency gains in how we collect and transmit vital information to European governments,” he continued.

He added IATA will be becoming even more active regarding security.

“We are beefing-up our resources and fully supporting the ICAO’s efforts,” de Juniac said. “And we look forward to working with the EC and national governments in the process.”

Finally, removing infrastructure bottlenecks must be a priority.

By 2035 we estimate the annual economic cost of European airspace inefficiency will be €245 billion

“If we look at the big picture of what is happening with air transport infrastructure in Europe—airports and air navigation services—we are headed for a crisis…or possibly there already,” de Juniac says.

De Juniac again reiterated his desire for the Single European Sky—“sort ­out the politics and get on with it!”—and put into context how much European airspace’s lack of efficiency is costing the industry.

“By 2035 we estimate the annual economic cost of European airspace inefficiency will be €245 billion,” he says.

“On the Single European Sky there has been little progress with a top-down approach. So we are proposing to build a solution from the bottom up. The strategy is to work with European government to build and implement national airspace plans.”

He also called for an end to the uncertainty of strikes. “Governments must find an urgent solution for service continuity,” he added.

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