IATA wants government help for the future growth of aviation

The Director General of IATA, Tony Tyler, puts his views on how government can help the global aviation industry to expand, in a breathtakingly partial and self-serving article.  He starts from the supposition that aviation only contributes 2% of global carbon emissions (it is more like 4.9% of impact on climate, and is likely to grow as other sectors decarbonise). He then presumes that aviation must be given special status, on the assumption that it is unique in driving global economic development and job creation (which is not proven).  He wants global aviation to be permitted to continue to grow, cutting its emissions by less than other sectors, and claims (by ambiguous wording) that 3 billion people fly each year.  They do not.  He also wants his industry not to be taxed  much, “to ensure that aviation is treated as an economic catalyst not a cash cow.”



Warning:  This a very, very one-sided, biased and self-serving article, ignoring all the facts and arguments against their position, from IATA.  

Sustainable aviation requires government cooperation

18 April 2012  (International Airport Review)
Author: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called upon governments to work together and with the aviation industry to maximize aviation’s ability to sustainably drive global economic development and job creation.  [He ignores the fact that about half of all air journeys are for tourism, and this proportion is likely to rise in future.  https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=907 ] 

“Governments and industry share a common interest in aviation’s success. Aviation is a business and a driver of economic and social development that is vitally important to governments. About 3 billion people fly annually. [That means there are 3 billion passengers per yer, some of them flying many times. It is not that 3 billion out of the world’s 7 billion fly.  Only a small minority do].

“And the nearly 50 million tonnes of cargo transported by air represents some 35% of the value of goods traded internationally” said Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO while speaking at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Air Transport Symposium.

Aviation is a highly regulated industry at the national, regional and global levels. “Sustainability depends not only on what airlines do for themselves but also the policies adopted by governments,” said Tyler. “Regulation that is neither coordinated nor mutually recognized brings a high cost of compliance without corresponding benefits, while maintaining restrictions on airlines’ access to global capital and to markets has kept airlines financially weak,” said Tyler noting the important role of ICAO in delivering solutions to ensure aviation’s sustainability in the broadest of terms.

Tyler cited four areas where policy efforts are needed to ensure aviation’s financial sustainability:

  • Infrastructure: Modernization of air traffic management is needed to reduce delays, save fuel and cut CO2 emissions.
  • User Charges: Effective regulation of monopoly suppliers is required to ensure sufficient infrastructure, reasonable returns for operators and cost-efficient prices for airlines, in line with ICAO-agreed principles.
  • Fees and Taxes: Policies are needed that re-invest aviation tax receipts back into the industry and to ensure that aviation is treated as an economic catalyst not a cash cow.
  • Regulation: An approach is needed that resists the urge to micro-manage competition, allows airlines to explore different business models and enables market forces to play out.

Additionally, Tyler noted the need for a globally coordinated approach among governments to managing aviation’s 2% contribution to manmade CO2 emissions. “Aviation has committed to three targets, the most ambitious of which is to cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005. We cannot do that without government cooperation. As aviation is a global industry, that cooperation must be coordinated through ICAO.  [IATA only plans to cut its carbon emissions by 2050, partly by massive carbon trading from other sectors, and anticipated use of biofuels – as well as actual improvments and cuts in emissions]. 

That is why Europe’s inclusion of international aviation in its emissions trading scheme is counter-productive. The regional approach distorts markets. And it will not have the positive impact on sustainability of globally coordinated measures through ICAO. On top of that, the unilateral and extra-territorial approach is seen by non-European states as an attack on their sovereignty,” said Tyler.

“Nobody wants a trade war. And I am confident that if Europe participates whole-heartedly at ICAO—being prepared to find solutions with the international community beyond its current plans—ICAO will successfully facilitate a durable solution for environmental sustainability,” said Tyler.

“Aviation connectivity is the infrastructure of our global community. A key component of sustainability must be a pragmatic and comprehensive policy approach focused on building competitiveness to maximize aviation’s economic and social benefits,” Tyler said.

A recent Oxford Economics study reported that aviation globally is responsible for 56.6 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity—3.5% of global GDP.

Ready Tony Tyler’s full speech