IATA promotes the value aviation brings by increasing connectivity, improving infrastructure, helping airlines in the region become more competitive by advocating for a smarter regulatory environment and improving the passenger experience through the use of technology.
The regional office maintains close relations with governments, their agencies, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC) , Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), Airlines for America (A4A), airports, air navigation service providers and regional airline associations.
IATA's Latest Regional Activities
Entering 2017, we continue to advocate on your behalf on many fronts with no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, many governments across the Americas continue to view aviation as a cash cow that can be easily taxed and regulated. The latest example is Colombia where the proposed tax reform could have a detrimental impact on our members' operations to and from the country. And while ANAC announced the positive news that carriers are finally allowed to charge for the passengers' first bag, the Brazilian Senate immediately and strongly reacted against the new regulation. We will continue to advocate for global best practices and hope to change the mindset of governments towards aviation. To support this effort, I am pleased to share that IATA is working on a public outreach campaign with video, social media and fact sheet components to humanize the travel experience and showcase how aviation enriches our lives; culturally, socially and economically. We plan on rolling out the campaign in early February of 2017 and count on your support to spread the "Magic of Flying" to your customers and stakeholders.
Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas
Argentina: Assessment of AEP Airport
The UK Government and IATA conducted a limited scope assessment of Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) and benchmarked this against London Gatwick Airport in the areas of airport infrastructure, operations and air navigation services. With nearly 12 million passengers annually, AEP operates under significant constraints during peak times both in the passenger terminal building and on the airside. Benchmarking with LGW and select other UK airports was done to support options to improve the situation at AEP in order to accommodate the target of doubling domestic air traffic in Argentina.
The project was conducted with experts from ANAC, EANA, ORSNA, AA2000, AR, LATAM and LGK airport and final conclusions emphasized the need to analyze investment decisions for AEP and EZE as a system and not independently.
Brazil: Aviation Day & Reduction in Proposed ATC Charges Increases
In collaboration with ALTA and JURCAIB, IATA hosted an Aviation Day in Brasilia on December 1st with a focus on how to turn Brazil's current economic and political crisis into opportunity and create a pro-aviation regulatory and business environment.
As a result of the event and on-going advocacy efforts of IATA and ABEAR regarding the proposed 37.84% increase to Brazil's overflight fees (TAN), DECEA responded positively with the following results: 1) The international TAN fee will increase by only 4.72%, representing a cost avoidance of 87.5%; 2) The domestic TAN fee will increase by 37.84%, but it will be done in equal steps over the next four years. The new fees will be effective as of January 1, 2017. In addition, Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), announced that Brazilian carriers are finally allowed to charge for the passengers' first bag. While these are two small positive changes, many issues remain in the areas of fuel, airport costs and regulations.
Next steps include meetings with ANAC to discuss Resolution 141 provisions that contradicts MC99 on baggage allowance, flight delays and legal action for the travel experience. IATA will also circulate position papers to members of Congress and hire an External Affairs Representative that will be based in Brasilia to advocate on behalf of the industry and educate government officials on aviation's global standards.
Colombia: Proposed Tax Reform Bill would be Detrimental to Airlines
IATA sent a series of letters to various Colombian government ministries, including President Santos, expressing deep concerns regarding the country's proposed tax reform bill and the potential implications it could have on the airline industry. Importantly, IATA draws attention to the contravention of bilateral air service agreements (tax on fuel for international operations) and the conflict with Resolution 39/2 (CORSIA) adopted at ICAO's 39th Assembly two months ago, which Colombia fully supported.
The bill would impose taxes on aviation including a general increase in the VAT from 16% to 19% on international tickets, and establish a carbon tax to be levied on fossil fuels. Taxation of aviation jet fuel is exempt under the US-Colombia Open Skies Agreement on a reciprocal basis, and the new CORSIA Agreement reached at ICAO's 39th Assembly states that market-based measures should not be duplicative; instead CO2 emissions should be accounted for only once.
Panama: New IATA Office Location for Central America
To be closer to key stakeholders, IATA's local office for Central America will be based in Panama effective January 1st with the following address: Financial Park Building - Office 23E, Boulevard Costa del Este, Panama, Republic of Panama. .
Peru: LIM Airport Level 2 Coordination
After holding a World Slot Guidelines (WSG) Level 2 Course in Lima in October, IATA arranged a follow-up visit to discuss several key aspects to implementing the WSG program at LIM airport, especially focused on the normative framework (NTC). As result, DGAC is finalizing the NTC draft and expects to publish it before end of 2016. It is important to note the active collaboration between IATA and DGAC is leading to the first full publication of the OCT'16-MAR'17 itineraries for LIM Airport.
Peru: Update on LIM Airport Concession Contract
Based on information provided at OSITRAN's Airport User Council regarding negotiations of the 7th addenda, the following are the key agreements tentatively reached between LAP and the Peruvian Government. Peruvian Government (MTC) will extend the concession period by 10 years. Construction of the second runway is scheduled to start by mid-2019, completion is required in 4 years (2023).
No timeline on the new terminal was provided but it is expected to be delivered two or three years after the 2nd runway (2024-2026). User charges will follow existing productivity factor calculation, therefore charges are expected to lower and the Peruvian state will assume the difference through the retribution share. IATA will continue to monitor the process closely.
Peru: Elimination of Paper Immigrations Form
Peruvian authorities announced the implementation of e-gates at LIM airport and the elimination of the paper immigrations form (TAM). IATA and AETAI we have been working closely with DIGMIG, providing assistance and guidance on best industry practices throughout this process. The eventual go-live of API (FEB17) will also contribute to more efficient passenger processing.
During the inauguration ceremony, the e-gates were fully operational, processing passengers between 30-40 seconds per transaction. Although the e-gates are still limited to Peruvian nationals with machine-readable passports, DIGEMIG plans to open it up gradually to other types of readable documents and nationalities. .
USA: DOT ACCESS Commitee Reaches Agreement
In November, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Accessible Air Transportation Advisory (ACCESS) Committee completed a negotiated rulemaking to address issues affecting persons with reduced mobility, including accessible lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft, accessible inflight entertainment (IFE), and service and emotional support animals.
The Committee formally adopted a negotiated package of new rules related to accessible lavatories and IFE, but was unable to reach an agreement on service and emotional support animals. DOT plans to begin the formal rulemaking process on all of these issues in early 2017. These new rules have the potential to affect all carriers that fly to, from, and within the U.S. IATA will continue to follow this process very closely and will be sure to provide additional information as it becomes available, including deadlines for submitting comments on any future rulemaking in this area. Note that it is uncertain whether the Trump Administration will support any new regulations on these issues.
USA: FAA ADS-B MANDATE
Airlines are again reminded that the FAA ADS-B mandate will become applicable on January 1, 2020. The FAA has confirmed that aircraft that are non-compliant with the surveillance performance requirements will be excluded from regular flight operations in the USA National Airspace System (NAS). IATA again strongly encourages all airlines that plan to operate in the USA NAS after the mandate becomes effective to take immediate steps to ensure on time compliance.
Venezuela: Rate Increases and Blocked Funds
IATA and ALTA sent a joint letter to Venezuela's Minister of Transport and Public Works expressing concern regarding significant rate increases applicable to airport and air navigation services in Venezuela. IATA and ALTA opposed the revised charges and pointed out how disproportionate the new rates are relative to those charged for similar service by other countries in the region and the counter-productive effect it could have on Venezuela's already frail economy.
Some carriers could opt to further reduce their services to the country and avoid using its airspace. In addition, the Venezuelan government still refuses the release of US$3.8 billion in airline funds and the country's economic and political situation continues to worsen.
IATA's Magic of Flying Public Outreach Campaign
IATA is working on a public outreach campaign and is creating a set of tools to promote air transport as a force for good and communicate "the magic of flying" to the general public in the Americas. The deliverables are short videos in Spanish, English and Portuguese as well as a set of regional and country fact-sheets and print ads that will present aviation in an inspiring light.
The campaign is designed to foster a favorable view of aviation by the general public as well as by government authorities to alleviate growth-restricting regulations. The project will also include a detailed social media and print media campaign to share the deliverables with the general public and targeted stakeholders via newspaper ads, in-flight entertainment systems, industry magazines and other media channels. The campaign is on track to be launched in early 2017.
IATA's Regional Event Calendar for 2017
IATA is pleased to announce the following key events across the Americas region in 2017. The well-known Wings of Change Conference will come to the region twice in 2017. First alongside the
International Brazil Air Show (IBAS) in Rio de Janeiro on March 30 and 31 with a focus on South America.
Wings of Change North American / Caribbean edition will then take place in Miami in partnership with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council on May 2 and 3. The next Aviation Day in the Americas will take place in Lima, Peru on April 19, 2017 and Aviation Days in Colombia and Brazil are planned for the fall. The
IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in Cancun, Mexico from June 4 to 6.