IATA’s regional Aviation Days are well known for their engaging subject matter, outstanding speakers, lively debate and, of course, some of the best networking opportunities you'll find anywhere in the industry.
News from the Americas' Aviation Days
IATA's one day, flagship Aviation Day event focuses on the specific country's most significant opportunities and challenges and how the industry can work together to allow aviation to be an engine of economic growth and social development. Get the latest news from the Americas' regional aviation days here.
Aviation Day Argentina, 27 May
Argentine Minister of Transport, Guillermo Dietrich, committed to reducing fees of the state-owned cargo handler Intercargo at IATA's recent Aviation Day Argentina
in Buenos Aires, organized jointly with JURCA and ALTA. The president of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, Matias Patanian, committed to work more closely with IATA to improve the terminal infrastructure and review the charges scheme currently in place.
As a follow up, IATA met with AA2000 and agreed to create a working group between AA2000, JURCA and IATA to discuss the 2016-2019 airport investment plan and ensure the airlines are part of the consultation process. Looking forward, IATA will pursue to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with EANA (Air Navigation Service Provider) to partner together in improving the air space in Argentina which is currently facing significant efficiency challenges resulting in departure and arrival delays.
Aviation Day USA, 25 February
Tony Tyler urged aviation stakeholders to work together to address key issues facing aviation:
- Economic viability
- Infrastructure development
- Environmental sustainability
Tony cited the successful partnership on aviation safety as a template for how industry and governments should cooperate to address these challenges.
Robin Hayes of JetBlue made a compelling case for taking FAA’s air traffic control organization out of the agency and making it an independent entity. He emphasized that this is not a safety issue, but rather one of cost & efficiency.
With ATC reform and many other policy issues, all of us need to be engaged in educating people in Washington and elsewhere. We cannot assume they understand our business.
The Executive Chat panel addressed a range of subjects but certain themes reappeared:
- The industry has changed. Airlines no longer chase unprofitable growth; Manufacturers are getting better at managing the delivery cycle.
- Fares are down, even with ancillaries, but the public does not perceive this.
- Government policies do not reflect the value aviation delivers and the US government continues to intrude in the marketplace (reregulation via the back door?)
Rob commented on the latest silliness in Washington, a Tennessee congressman who introduced legislation earlier in February to mandate minimum seat width and pitch. Deep sigh.
Nick Calio summed it up with the remark that, “DOT wants to know how much airlines collect in Coca Cola fees”.
New York Infrastructure Panel
- New York is a vital element in the national economy.
- Efficient connectivity at the four area airports is essential to the regional economy.
- Over 70% of U.S. airspace delays originate in New York airspace, often with a “rub on” effect up and down the East Coast and west as far as Chicago.
- Solving the NYC airspace problem is made more complicated because of financial, political, and environmental issues.
- The FAA is looking at small wins, not a wholesale redesign on regional airspace.
Wall Street Investment Panel
Repeated the theme of maturation in the U.S. industry: capacity restraint, abandonment of discredited approach of growing market share at the expense of profit.
The global survey reminds us that if we look at a global scale, the scale at which IATA operates, it is not a single airline industry, but a set of industries that vary greatly by financial performance, market issues, legal regime, and more.
Consistent profits make lots of good things possible, but also open the prospect of labor contracts that make sense when times are good, but become painful in a downturn.
The Future Passenger Experience Panel
Experience means more than just hard product like seats and inflight entertainment systems, but also systems and software.
Mobile technology holds great promise, but behind it are legacy systems that still present challenges.
The CBP panelist reminded us of the need for collaboration with government; his positive approach was welcome, and contrasted with the frustrations airline often feel when dealing with the FAA and other agencies.
There was a brief, and welcome, mention of NDC, new distribution capability, an IATA initiative that will greatly improve airlines’ ability to sell ancillaries and offer services and products that differentiate.
Passenger experience means inflight and on the ground, and the latter can be problematic because airlines don’t control airports.
- Lastly, the digital revolution is offering the opportunity to personalize travel offers.
No matter where in commercial aviation you work, let us, all of us, remember every day the real business that we’re in. Yes, formally it is air transportation, but much more than that it is the business of getting people together.
Nowadays youngsters speak of things digital as transformative technology, and they surely are, but we were there first: Since the advent of the jet airliner almost 60 years ago, our business, dare I say our calling, has changed the world in so many ways: Preceding or facilitating flows of financial and human capital and catalyzing economic development everywhere; enabling just-in-time logistics, including those Valentine’s Day flowers a few days ago; underpinning immigration across the globe, a mixing that, despite bumps, is a huge net positive for the human race; fostering educational exchange; and, of course, fostering tourism of all kinds, the weekend jaunt to see friends and the once-in-a-lifetime tour of places far different from home.
That’s what we do; We should all feel good about all that we make possible. And every day we should remind all of our colleagues, from the airport and onboard front line to the C-suite, of that wonderful mission.
By: Rob Britton, Principal, AirLearn
Aviation Day USA 2016 - Photos