“To assist the industry`s return to profitability required us to deal with a number of important issues, largely outside our control” said IATA Director General and CEO Pierre J. Jeanniot at the opening of IATA`s 58th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Shanghai, 3 June.
Jeanniot was referring to record industry losses of USD 12 billion in 2001, the nature and costs of new security measures, the availability and additional costs of insurance - primarily for war risk - and the supply and cost of airport and air navigation infrastructure.
“These three priorities do not mean that we are relaxing our safety efforts,” continued the Director General. “Contrary to some people`s view, 2001 was the best year for accident prevention during the past decade. But we are going to do even better.”
“As an industry we are riding through the storm, from survival to recovery mode. As we emerge into a hopefully more tranquil but still challenging future, concerted measures will be needed for a safe, secure and profitable future. Airlines, governments, airports and navigation service providers will all have to play their part. We will need common-sense regulation and to harness technology, in a standardised fashion, to our future needs, which may be summarised as:
- A “zero defect” mentality applied to safety, with safety audits for all airlines becoming as routine and accepted as financial audits.
- Implement real-time monitoring of key flight operations data via satellite links to eliminate the “search for the black box.”
- Global implementation of satellite-based navigation systems.
- First regional, then global, market liberalisation of all sectors of the air transport industry - to include 20 to 30 “Regional Single Skies” for air navigation.
- Optimising the capacity of every major hub airport and fostering the creation of new hubs out of secondary airports.
- Allowing airlines to trade in “carbon credits” to minimise future environmental impact.
- One-stop, totally secure, checking and boarding processes, based on universally recognised and standardised biometrics.
Jeanniot concluded, “as we look at the promises and challenges of the next decade, we should be convinced that our future is potentially more exciting than ever!”