12-Nov-2012 7:59 AM

AAPA criticises government imposed obstacles to air transport industry development

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) stated (09-Nov-2012) Asia Pacific carriers are "at the forefront of innovation and are now playing a major role in global industry developments, but are still hampered by the straitjacket of overreaching government policies, particularly from the United States and European Union impacting global aviation". AAPA also noted that "with the shift of economic influence and commercial dynamism towards Asia continuing at an accelerating pace, AAPA is determined to challenge these government constraints with renewed vigour". AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said the following resolutions had been passed at the conclusion of the 56th AAPA Assembly of Presidents in Kuala Lumpur:

  • Environment: AAPA called on the EU to postpone the inclusion of international aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), pending international agreement. At the same time, AAPA also calls on governments to work within the auspices of ICAO towards an effective multilateral agreement on a global sectoral framework on aviation and the environment that will accommodate the special circumstances and respective capabilities of States;
  • Taxes: AAPA renewed the call on governments to carefully consider the overall economic effects of putting further financial strain on the travelling public and on the aviation industry, and to refrain from increasing the burden of aviation levies in any form;
  • Passenger services: AAPA said it "believes that introducing legislation with the simplistic aim of eliminating infrequent service failures can have unintended consequences for the smooth functioning of the overall air transport system to the detriment of the travelling public, including increasing the overall cost of air travel". Instead, AAPA called on governments to recognise the role of a competitive marketplace in incentivising airlines to respond effectively to evolving customer needs and expectations on service quality. AAPA also calls on government authorities to refrain from introducing legislation that would act as a disincentive to airlines to continue to compete freely on differentiated customer service standards;
  • Passenger facilitation: AAPA called on government agencies to "consult widely with the aviation industry in order to strike a better balance between national border control objectives and the need for efficient passenger facilitation, and to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated towards both inbound and outbound passenger processing at border controls, taking into account the growth in passenger numbers over time";
  • Safety: AAPA note that air transport remains the safest form of travel, amid close cooperation between industry and governments, coordinated internationally by ICAO. AAPA, however, said "despite this, the US and EU governments have taken it upon themselves to enforce stricter regulations on selected foreign carriers, including the introduction of operating bans. AAPA strongly objects to such an approach and calls on the US and EU governments to refrain from the unilateral imposition of punitive measures and restrictions on foreign carriers";
  • Security: AAPA noted the carriage of passengers and cargo by air is "extremely secure, yet current security procedures do not appear to properly balance risks against costs and inconvenience to the travelling public". AAPA urges governments to "develop and implement intelligence-led, outcome-based, security measures that more realistically balance risks against the costs and inconvenience imposed on the travelling public." On air cargo, AAPA "believes that the robustness of the international air cargo supply chain depends on a web of trusted relationships amongst the many stakeholders involved". In the face of further attempts by the US and other governments to impose unilateral new cargo security measures, AAPA called on governments to recognise the benefits of adherence to common global standards established by ICAO, and mutual recognition of respective aviation security regimes. [more - original PR]

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