Our world prospers when aviation brings it together, which is why governments must work hand-in-hand with the industry to help aviation continue to enrich lives.
Over the last year, the importance of uniting behind global standards, smarter regulation, and cooperative dialogue have been constant themes. Take the difficult challenge of the portable electronics (PED) ban. Despite the unpromising start, with a unilateral announcement by the US (swiftly followed by the UK), we have actually ended up in a position where our relationship with security regulators is arguably the strongest it has ever been. This came about because, as vital partners to governments, we proposed credible alternative measures. It was an example of IATA and the industry at its best: united, responsible, and focused on the best outcomes for passengers.
We’re taking the same approach in many other areas. Human trafficking is a terrible crime that destroys lives. Building on our track record of collaboration to stop the illegal trade in wildlife, we have our “eyes open” against human trafficking and are determined to support law enforcement efforts to stamp out this scourge.
We are also united on climate change. We have set out visionary targets to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and to cut our carbon footprint in half by 2050 (compared to 2005). Our goals can only be achieved in partnership with governments. With united industry support, and under the leadership of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), governments agreed to the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). And we are building on the momentum of this landmark agreement to work with governments on the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels—with some success, as you will read in the article on page 48 of this issue.
Looking to the future, it is clear that we are facing a crisis: Demand for air transport is growing faster than infrastructure development. We must engage governments to ensure that we have the capacity to accommodate demand, built to meet customer expectations and available at affordable prices. With governments increasingly looking to various forms of privatization, particularly when building airports, there is an additional danger. As American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker says in his interview starting on page 52, “If you get monopolies determined to maximize profits, you’re in trouble.” We’re going to be relentless in reminding governments that giving poorly-regulated monopolies a license to print money at the passenger’s expense is bad for the connectivity that drives modern economies.
We must engage governments to ensure that we have the capacity to accommodate demand, built to meet customer expectations and available
That’s the key. A successful aviation industry is safe, efficient, sustainable and accessible. And it augments people’s well-being. Our world grows more prosperous when aviation brings it together. Lives are enriched by the power to visit and explore every corner of our planet. Aviation is the Business of Freedom. And that’s a message that will ring loud and clear when we meet in Sydney, Australia for our 74th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit.
Alexandre de Juniac: Director General and CEO, IATA