“Environmental responsibility is a pillar of the air transport
industry—alongside safety and security,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General
and CEO of the International Air Transport Association at the first Aviation
and the Environment Summit being held in Geneva, Switzerland 17 and 18 March 2005.The first step is to understand the record of the industry. “Air transport should be
proud of our record. Modern aircraft have a fuel efficiency of 3.5 litres per 100
passenger kilometers—equivalent to a small compact car, but offering 6 times the
speed. In the last 40 years we reduced emissions per passenger kilometer by 70% and
aircraft noise at source reduced by 75%,” said Bisignani.
Technology: Technology and operational enhancements are key to further improvements.
“The case for investment in more fuel efficient aircraft is compelling. Every new
aircraft that enters our fleet is more environmentally friendly than the one it
replaces. With a fuel bill over US$60 billion, even a 10% improvement in fuel
efficiency would deliver 2% to the bottom line of the industry. But airlines need
the funds to invest in the new aircraft that would make this possible. Governments
must remember that airlines, unlike other modes of transport, pay for their own
infrastructure—when they land, park or fly. The bill for this is US$40 billion per
year. Further taxes and charges will only limit our ability to invest in the very
technology that would facilitate further improvements,” said Bisignani.
Efficient Operations: Efficient operations mean better environmental performance.
“The industry has worked to optimise aircraft separation and area navigation
resulting in reduced flight times and fuel consumption, But much more needs to be
done. If we could save a minute on every flight each year we would save 4.2 million
tons of CO2 emissions and US$3.6 billion on total operating costs including $700
million on fuel. Simply eliminating delays in Europe would save 1 million tons of
CO2 emissions, 15 million minutes of unnecessary flight and US$1.5 billion in wasted
operating costs. Changing the Single European Sky from a 15-year failure story to an
effective reality offers immediate and achievable benefits,” said Bisignani.
Economic Measures: IATA supports the leadership of the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) on any economic measures to address environmental performance.
“Air transport is a global industry and needs a global solution. Governments gave
last year’s ICAO Assembly the responsibility to find a solution by 2007. We must
find a solution that eliminates disparities with other subsidised forms of
transport, such as trains. While some governments support emissions trading, we need
further research into emissions trading conducted through ICAO,” said Bisignani
Partnership: “Airlines, airports and air navigation service providers are developing
a united, realistic and meaningful industry-wide consensus on the environment. As
partners we are committed to look for solutions with governments,” said Bisignani.