MIDDLE EAST: IATA chief urges Israel to attain global standards

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani called on Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz recently to utilise global standards to shoreup the country’s air transport sector. Bisignani referred specifically to issues of safety, security and infrastructure, urging Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal […]


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani called on Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz recently to utilise global standards to shoreup the country’s air transport sector. Bisignani referred specifically to issues of safety, security and infrastructure, urging Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) saying that remaining an IASA category 2 nation was a “national embarrassment” and costly for the financial health of Israel’s native carriers. Noting the global importance of aviation, Bisignani said: “Success does not happen by chance. It must be supported by effective government policies that promote a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible industry. “Let’s be clear, global standards are not out of reach. Israel’s four IATA member airlines (Arkia Israel Airlines, C.A.L. Cargo Airlines, El Al and Israir Airlines) are on the registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for achieving the highest standards in operational safety management. The regulator must also uphold global standards decided through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).” Bisignani also highlighted the urgent need for Israel to designate an alternate airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport to handle operational irregularities. Ovda Airport, the previous alternate airport for commercial flights, was closed to scheduled traffic earlier this year, although it does continue to provide services for charter operations. Larnaca is the current designated alternate should Ben Gurion become unavailable.