An additional 2.3 billion passengers are expected in the region by 2037.

By Patrick Appleton

Aviation must approach the problem of capacity constraints in Asia-Pacific in a unified way, a leading International Air Transport Association (IATA) official has said.

IATA’s forecast expects the region to grow at a pace of 4.8% over the next 20 years, resulting in an additional 2.3 billion passenger journeys by 2037.

Speaking to Airlines., IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific Conrad Clifford called on States to collaborate with IATA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to facilitate the rise in passengers.

“Aviation capacity constraints is a critical issue in Asia Pacific,” said Clifford. “It is key for States to work together with IATA and ICAO to develop robust plans. 

Too often we see individual States adding their own deviations (from ICAO guidance) that create complexity and increase costs and risks

“ICAO has guidance material and technical assistance while IATA can provide the global best practices and airline requirements from the perspective of airport and airspace users. 

“Both IATA and ICAO can support States in developing long term plans to increase infrastructure capacity and maximize the use of the existing infrastructure through the use of new technology and improved processes.”

The issue of improved co-operation was a leading theme in ICAO Council President Dr. Olumiwuya’s opening address at the 56th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region in late August.

Aliu stressed the importance of “invaluable industry inputs” in helping to tackle the latest challenges in civil aviation, including issues such as human resourcing, which is critical for States facing capacity constraints.

Clifford agreed and urged States to follow ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices to grow air transport safely and sustainably.

“Too often we see individual States adding their own sometimes small but nonetheless significant deviations that create complexity and increase costs and risks,” said Clifford.

IATA’s Asia-Pacific representative added that infrastructure capacity will be “key” to meet the growing demand in the region. 

“Without the right regulatory checks and balances, infrastructure may end up being underutilized or too expensive,” he said. 

“Service level and economic regulation are key to ensuring optimal use of infrastructure and capital. 

“While this can be daunting for some States, IATA and ICAO can guide States to ensure that capacity constraints do not inhibit sustainable aviation growth in the region.”