Meeting Challenges in Arab Gulf²
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called upon all parts of the aviation value chain in the Gulf region to cooperate in boosting aviation to serve as a catalyst for economic growth
Aviation has been at the centre of the economic transformation in the Gulf region over the past 25 years. ²A study by Oxford Economics shows aviation in the Middle East supports 2.7 million jobs and $129 billion in GDP. ²Aviation's role is set to grow rapidly as international passenger numbers rise from 77.1 million in 2010 to 220 million in 2030.
"Aviation's ability to play a leading role in GDP growth is not guaranteed. ²It depends on having the right conditions in place to support competitive sustainable businesses. Many of these are beyond the direct control of airlines, and most require industry and government to work together with a common vision and purpose," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO in his address to the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi.
Tyler identified a 4-point agenda for the region based on safety, security, infrastructure and the environment.²Last year was the safest year in aviation history, with an accident rate of one Western-built jet hull loss for every 2.7 million flights, which is a 39 per cent improvement on 2010. ²In the Middle East and North Africa, there was one hull loss for every 500,000 flights. "If aviation is to continue to deliver on its immense promise, safety must continue to be addressed as a community, working in partnership with governments and based on global standards, such as the IATA Operational Safety Audit," said Tyler.
The MENA region has invested more than $100 billion on airport projects. Tyler highlighted that this investment must be matched by similar commitments to efficient air traffic management (ATM) through harmonisation and optimal routings. However Tyler warned that "Technology for technology's sake and gold-plated solutions will not help us to reduce emissions, save fuel or increase airspace capacity. A better alternative is to work in close cooperation to develop operational procedures using existing and deployed technology that offer a sustainable business case for all," said Tyler.
Aviation's ability to fulfill future global demand for connectivity is contingent upon sustainability. To address aviation's 2 per cent contribution to man-made global CO2 emissions, airlines, airports, ANSPs and manufacturers have committed to (1) improve aircraft fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent annually to 2020; (2) cap net CO2 emissions from 2020; and (3) cut net carbon emissions from air transport in half by 2050 compared to 2005.
On the other hand, IATA is developing a Checkpoint of the Future that will differentiate screening using passenger information that is already being collected for immigration purposes. This will be combined with technology that allows passengers to walk through checkpoints without stopping, disrobing or unpacking. ²"We have received support from major stakeholders, such as the European Commission, the Chinese government, the US Department of Homeland Security and Interpol. ²Sixteen countries have also endorsed a statement of principles for the checkpoint. ²I hope to see Middle East states signing up to the principles soon," said Tyler.