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.
Americas Focus: Archive
IATA's Latest Regional Activities
We have concluded IATA's 73rd
Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Cancun which provided us with a great forum to highlight our
region's various challenges and key opportunities, including overreaching government regulations and infrastructure readiness to accommodate anticipated passenger growth across the Americas.
On a global level, the uncertainty of a potential expansion of the current ban on large portable electronic devices in the cabin remains. IATA continues to work with DHS to utilize alternative security measures as the current ban poses significant safety, operational and economic risks that must be addressed before any expansion should be contemplated.
In more positive news, the economic performance of carriers in the region has been quite positive. Latin American airlines experienced a 16.1% rise in April demand compared to the same month last year, which was the fastest rate for the region's carriers since December 2011. North American airlines posted a 10.3% demand increase compared to April a year ago. This appears to reflect a combination of the comparatively robust economic backdrop and the strength of the US dollar supporting outbound passenger demand.
Please find below our key activities of the second quarter of 2017 and count on our support during these challenging times of uncertainty.
Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas
Argentina: EANA Consultation Summary
In April, IATA and airlines met with EANA's authorities to understand the recent 20% tariff increase (totaling 116% in <1yr.), discuss the expertise at IATA and airlines available to EANA and explain the reasoning and benefits of consultation with airlines. The ANSP presented the new organizational structure and a summary of their investment plan and apologized for not having consulted before. EANA rejected IATA's request of a-6 month delay in the implementation of the increase due to their current deficit situation. Nevertheless, they agreed to follow the ICAO Charges principles from now on. IATA has written to Minister Dietrich conveying the industry's position and concerns.
Brazil: Update on Baggage Fees
On 29 April, the injunction placed by a federal judge of Sao Paolo which prevented Article 13 of ANAC's resolution 400 to go into effect was revoked. Article 13 allows airlines the flexibility to charge for checked baggage as part of ANAC's reforms presented in December 2016, and that went into effect in early March of 2017. While still a provisional decision as the matter is pending review by the Superior Court, in the interim, baggage fees can be imposed by airlines willing to charge for this service.
Brazil: Update on Slot Resolution 338
IATA met with ANAC officials in Brazil on 30 May – 01 June to review Slot Resolution 338, and discuss its deviations from WSG and seek ANAC's cooperation toward closer alignment with international best practices (WSG) on its slot monitoring process. A series of workshops were also held in Sao Paulo with industry stakeholders that included airlines, the airport concessionaire, INFRAERO and representatives from ABEAR. Webinars were also held to help inform airline slot representatives and allow for further engagement and interaction with ANAC. All participants thought it was a constructive effort intended to help remedy the current dysfunction taking place affecting airline operations at GRU.
Canada: Transportation Modernization Act
On 16 May 2017, Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau tabled Bill C-49, entitled "The Transportation Modernization Act" (GOVAF 1347 refers). A key part of the Canadian government's effort to modernize regulation is to introduce air passenger rights in the country. General parameters have been shared, including addressing denied boarding, delays, and cancellations, reporting requirements from airlines and lost or damaged baggage. IATA met with Transport Canada for an initial technical briefing on 18 May and will provide further updates.
Canada: NAVCANADA Rate Decrease to be Extended
On May 30, NAVCANADA proposed to reduce charges for the 2018 fiscal year due to continuous strong traffic. Specifically, tariffs are expected to decrease 3.9% (3.5% permanently and 0.4% temporarily, for one year) on average, which matches the 3.9% temporary decrease from 2017 set to expire on August 31, 2017. On average, 2018 tariffs will remain unchanged. Furthermore, NAVCANADA expects to return ~CAD$60M, as a one-time refund, around January 2018. Corresponding savings will be calculated in 4Q17. Separately, the tentative date for NAVCANADA's annual consultation is November 3. IATA will continue it close collaboration with NAVCANADA.
Cuba: Update on BSP, Smarter Regulation and World Slot Guidelines
On 24-25 April, IATA held high-level discussions with Cuban authorities that have oversight for the aviation industry on the island. Key points of discussion included the need to establish a Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) in Cuba and finalize plans for an initial airport infrastructure assessment, which is scheduled for late May 2017. IATA also reiterated its desire to hold a proactive smarter regulation workshop and further advancement of slot methodologies (WSG) in Cuba. In addition, IATA conducted a technical mission and visited HAV, SNU and VRA airports.
Jamaica: First to Implement Cargo XML Using ASYCUDA World
IATA has worked closely with The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which resulted in the integration of IATA Cargo-XML in ASYCUDA World. Recognizing that 90+ countries in the world are using ASYCUDA World, Jamaica Customs Authority (JCA) is the first among those countries to implement IATA Cargo-XML standards. IATA Cargo-XML implementation will help JCA in modernizing operations, facilitating trade growth and enhancing security risk assessment measures, in line with the expectations set by the World Customs Organization through their SAFE Framework of Standards. At the same time, this important breakthrough will also benefit IATA members, as the use of global Cargo-XML standards will enable airlines to comply with JCA legislation with improved data quality.
Mexico: Update on Proposals for Slot Management at MEX
In mid-May, the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement (COFEMER) received proposals from the SCT/DGAC (Civil Aviation Authority) to modify the current airport law pertaining to slot management at MEX. While the recommended changes contain significant progress in alignment with WSG, key components of the regulation regarding the role of the independent coordinator, punctuality compliance, and 85/15 rule are not in adherence to WSG principles and to international best practices. On 02 June, IATA submitted comments to COFEMER asserting that it is critical that Mexico implement a neutral, transparent and efficient slot allocation system to address the current unpredictable and administratively complex processes that have proven to be a significant challenge for operators at MEX. IATA remains committed to pursuing the full adoption of the World Slots Guidelines (WSG) at AICM.
Mexico: Passenger Rights Modification
The Mexican Senate approved the Project of Law (PL) that makes modifications to the Civil Aviation Law and the Federal Consumer Protection Law applicable to passenger rights. Airlines will be given a period of 90 days from the publication of the PL to implement procedures in accordance with the revised requirements. As previously informed, the bill includes compensation requirements for delays and cancellations, use of non-sequential flight coupons, free baggage allowance, right of repentance up to 24-hours prior to flight, and free infant travel on all flights, amongst others. IATA will continue to engage local stakeholders to evaluate possible actions to reduce the effect of the changes to the Civil Aviation Law. In addition, IATA's DG & CEO Alexandre de Juniac has written a letter to Mexico's President Peña Nieto to express our concerns and ask for his intervention.
Panama: Waiver of Fines Imposed by Immigration due to Errors in APIS
In a joint effort between the local airlines association and IATA, airlines secured a four-month waiver of fines imposed by immigration due to errors in APIS transmissions. Following investigations and several working group meetings, it was determined that the errors were being produced by a technological error and not attributable to airlines. Panama's immigration authorities report that said error has been resolved and that the fines produced by it will not be imposed. .
USA: Update on Large Portable Electronic Devices
IATA is working with regulators in the United States and Europe to identify opportunities to address the increased security threat posed to commercial aviation. IATA is urging regulators to consider alternative security measures to the ban on large portable electronic devices (PEDs) in the cabin of certain flights. The current ban poses significant safety, operational and economic risks that must be addressed before any expansion should be contemplated. IATA is particularly concerned about the potential safety risk posed by the significant increase in passenger – packed lithium powered devices in the cargo hold of commercial aircraft. The US Government is considering whether to expand this ban to either European airports or all airports with direct flights to the U.S. It is unclear at this time when or if the USG will expand this ban.
USA: MIA's New Airport User Agreement Under Negotiation
In December 2015, negotiations began on Miami's airport user agreement (AUA), between the airline group (MAAC) and MIA (also known as "MDAD"). Towards the end of 2016, MIA has highlighted that it will be reworking the base of its charges, which is area (square footage), as it is yielding discriminatory charges. Specifically, costs related to a significant portion of the international-only area are being paid by domestic passengers (i.e. international facility costs are subsidized by domestic passengers). As a result, based on ICAO's charging principle of non-discrimination, the international facility fee will likely increase from $2.20 to ~$14. A detailed proposal is expected to be shared during the next AUA negotiating meeting, scheduled for June 27th at MIA. IATA will attend the meeting and continue to work with MIA's stakeholders to ensure the AUA follows global best practices.