Asia Pacific priorities – Infrastructure, Regulations, Sustainability
Alexander de Juniac, called for urgent action to address infrastructure, regulatory harmonization and sustainability challenges, at AAPA Assembly of Presidents
October 31, 2017
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO addressed delegates attending the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents in Chinese Taipei, on areas the aviation industry needs to focus on in Asia Pacific.
Asia-Pacific faces a challenge in coping with growth in demand. “We are headed for a major infrastructure crisis. In many ways the Asia-Pacific region is ahead of the game with major hubs having robust expansion plans. But there are challenges. Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta are among airports that need major upgrades. Chinese air traffic management struggles to cope with growth. And high costs at India’s privatized airports are burdening the industry. The challenge for governments is to ensure sufficient capacity that is affordable and in line with airlines’ operational requirements,” said de Juniac.
De Juniac also cautioned against privatization as a solution to fund infrastructure investments. “We have no issue with injecting private sector mentality into the operation of any airport. But our conclusion from three decades of largely disappointing experiences with airport privatization tells us airports perform better in public hands,” said de Juniac.
“The primary focus of airports should be to support local and national prosperity as an economic catalyst. But in private hands, shareholder returns take top priority, leading to costs increases. And economic regulation has yet to produce any long-term success stories in balancing national and private interests,” said de Juniac.
De Juniac emphasized the importance of global standards to maximizing the efficiency of connectivity. “This region would benefit from greater regulatory convergence in how global standards are implemented. But there are still too many examples of states in Asia-Pacific not complying with global standards and re-inventing the wheel on issues as wide ranging as developing punitive consumer protection, ignoring just culture in accident investigation and making non-standard security requirements,” said de Juniac.
“The goal is to improve efficiency with seamless operations across the region. And to do that governments must focus on harmonization and work together in partnership with industry. This means keeping global standards such as the Montreal Convention 1999 and Montreal Protocol 2014 top of mind, learning from industry best practices and consulting with industry because we know what works from our operational experience that crosses many jurisdictions,” said de Juniac.
It has been a year since the historic International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreement on Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). And in just over 14 months airlines will need to start reporting their emissions.
De Juniac urged more governments, including those in the Asia-Pacific region, to join the voluntary period from 2021 to 2026, and to clarify the scheme’s technical details. He also called on Asia-Pacific governments to do more to support the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).