Published on : Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Industry leaders gathering for the 61st Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents have good reason to be positive about the continuing growth of passenger and cargo traffic growth in an expanding global economy over the past 12 months. Whilst this growth has been accompanied by considerable pressure on yields, the most serious threats to such growth are still widely recognised to be the continuing proliferation of restrictive government policies, excessive taxes & charges and a lack of shared vision for the industry.
AAPA members acknowledge that they are stronger together in collectively challenging excessive government intervention that prevents the industry from reaching its full potential. Topics being addressed at this year’s Assembly of Presidents include Aviation Security, Environment, Infrastructure, Slots, Passenger Facilitation & Privacy and Charges & Taxes.
Recent government restrictions and new enhanced security measures introduced in the wake of security concerns relating to electrical items, have resulted in a patchwork of inconsistent security measures around the world, confusion for air travellers and a degradation in the overall air travel experience. AAPA firmly believes that government agencies responsible for border control need to fundamentally rethink policies that should aim to strike a more reasonable balance between passenger facilitation and aviation security.
AAPA very much welcomed the agreement on the Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) reached at the ICAO Assembly in 2016. It is now looking to governments around the world to ensure that they remain fully committed to the process of introducing the necessary national legislation to implement the scheme within the next two years. AAPA sees it as critical that ICAO’s CORSIA scheme remains global in scope, has environmental integrity and avoids competitive market distortions.
On infrastructure, the Association is also looking to governments in Asia to coordinate the necessary investments in aviation infrastructure, including airport runways, terminals and air navigation services, to keep pace with the growth in demand whilst delivering operational efficiencies and reduction in environmental impact. At congested slot controlled airports around the world, nearly 40 of which are in the Asia Pacific region, AAPA is calling on governments to ensure optimal use of scarce airport capacity by managing slots in an independent, fair and non-discriminatory manner.
AAPA acknowledges that the increasingly widespread use of advanced air transport IT systems, including biometrics and machine-readable travel documents has proved effective in helping streamline passenger and crew processing. However, recent expansion in government requests for Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes have raised issues of passenger privacy.
On taxation, AAPA continues to oppose the widespread imposition of unjustified or discriminatory taxes and charges on international aviation by governments, airport authorities and air navigation service providers.
“AAPA carriers operating in the world’s most competitive markets have continuously innovated and adapted their service offerings to satisfy the ever-changing demands of the global travelling public, whilst maintaining the highest safety standards,” said Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General. “Whilst these achievements are certainly celebrated, the ever-growing burden of restrictive government legislation, increasing taxes and charges, and lack of shared vision for the industry, hold back the potential of Asia’s carriers in fully contributing to the social and economic development of the region.”