WASHINGTON, DC: March 03, 2017. IATA has reiterated its warning to the Trump Administration about a future of restricted borders and protectionism.
"Our world has grown much wealthier through trade and travel. Air travel liberates people to live better lives and makes our world a better place," said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, "In the U.S., the aviation sector contributes US$680.1 billion dollars to GDP and supports 6.2 million jobs."
De Juniac said political change in the U.S. is being watched very closely because of its impact on global aviation. He called on the Trump Administration and Congress to replace the Federal Aviation Administration with an independent, "corporatized non-profit entity" to manage U.S. skies.
"Airlines and their passengers suffer the impact of the unpredictable federal budget process on the [FAA] provision of air traffic services," he said, adding the U.S. is falling behind in the introduction of new and more efficient technology.
De Juniac also urged the Trump Administration to create jobs by reducing the tax burden on travel: "Airlines for America estimates that taxes account for more than a fifth of the cost of the average domestic ticket," he declared.
Noting the idea of private sector involvement in Trump's US$1 trillion infrastructure plan, De Juniac said he knew of only one airport in the world – San Juan Puerto Rico – that had fully delivered on expectations: "Airports are monopolies. When they are in private hands, the pressure to maximize shareholder returns too often outweighs the core objective of delivering user/consumer benefits."
He warned that private sector involvement in funding infrastructure improvements should be balanced by regulatory innovation to protect national and consumer interests.
Acknowledging the need to maintain international and domestic environment regulations, the IATA director general said it was "vital" the Trump Administration supports the successful implementation of the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
At the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization last October, 191 countries - including the U.S. - agreed to reduce and offset carbon emissions beginning in 2021: "Airlines cannot operate with multiple and conflicting environmental regimes. CORSIA is the global solution that is in everybody's best interest," he declared.
Pictured: IAG Cargo celebrated World Wildlife Day on March 03 as member of the IATA/CITES initiative to protect endangered species. The cargo business of the International Airlines Group donated 400 passenger blankets to an elephant orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.