IATA in the Americas
IATA's regional office for the Americas, based in Miami, along with its 10 country offices support the organization’s mission to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. We seek to improve the understanding of the aviation industry and increase awareness of the benefits the industry brings to regional and local economies.
We champion the global and regional interests of our members, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments accountable.
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 5 year strategic plan for the Americas
The IATA Americas team has developed a five year strategic plan (pdf) with input from key stakeholders across the region to tackle the largest opportunities and threats, creating common objectives and initiatives to focus on between 2016 and 2021.
The Region at a glance
- 840,000 jobs generated by the airlines industry in Latin America and the Caribbean
- 4.2M people employed by industries supported by Aviation
- 268M passengers transported in 2014
- $138 billion aviation contribution to the region's GDP
- 5.4% annual growth of Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) forecast over the next 20 years
2016 Economic Outlook for the Americas
- Regional outlook is mixed.
- Commodity price and exchange rate shocks hit the region hard in 2015.
- Mexico and Colombia forecast to fare well in 2016; Mexico is benefiting from strong US economy.
- Brazil is in recession and the next couple of years will be challenging.
- Argentina’s troubles include high inflation and a worsening fiscal situation. Likely to get worse before it gets better.
Americas Focus, July 2016
Economic data is a powerful tool to advance our many advocacy efforts across the region. I am happy to share that IATA's Economics team has just launched a brand new app that offers an attractive way to get all of the latest information, studies and statistics at your fingertips. I encourage you to download and access the free app
. You will see that all the topics displayed in the app reflect our key priorities in the region, in line with our 5 year strategy for the Americas
, focused on 1) Safety, 2) Security & Facilitation, 3) Infrastructure, 4) Regulatory Environment and 5) Financially Viable Markets.
As you well know, we continue to face many regulatory challenges across the region. We are working closely with ATAC and ALTA to address Colombia's project of law regarding reduced pilot flight time limits and the negative impact it could have on our industry. We have a clear action plan in place that outlines global best practices and how the proposed measures would be counterproductive to the industry in Colombia. We have done the same in other markets like Brazil and Argentina where we have partnered with the local BARs and developed detailed action plans for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.
On a more positive note, Chile approved the self-application of baggage tags, Guatemala ratified the Montreal Convention 1999 (MC 99) and IATA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CANAERO and ALTA in Mexico to work on several issues impacting the industry, like slots, infrastructure and ATC efficiency.
Staying in Mexico, I am pleased to announce that Cuitlahuac Gutierrez has been confirmed as IATA's new Country Manager for Mexico, effective July 1st. Cuit has a long and distinguished aviation career and joins us from Aeromexico where he most recently held the role of Vice President for Alliances & International Relations.
Lastly, I would like to ask you to mark your calendars for October 4th when the next Aviation Day will take place in Brasilia, addressing the many challenges and opportunities our industry faces in Brazil.
In the meantime, please continue to count on IATA to support you in your advocacy efforts and do not hesitate to reach out to myself or my team for any help we can provide
Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas
Argentine Minister of Transport Announced Reduction of Fees at Aviation Day Argentina
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.
BOG ATM Project Update
The project Concept of Operations (CONOPS) is expected to be ready for implementation before the end of 2016 (November) with the required training, procedures development, safety assessments, regulation and validation simulations (airspace and surface). Aerocivil delayed the delivery of the CONOPS validation so that part of the non-critical training was moved to the beginning of 2017. This will not impact the delivery of the CONOPS and their ATC capacity to work under the new environment.
IATA delivered the 3NM separation report to be implemented by Aerocivil which included the technical revision of the BOG radar and ATM system performance, the safety assessment and briefings with the involved ATC. This initiative has the potential to increase the arrival capacity by approximately 39% during peak hours. Aerocivil is now studying the impact of reducing the separation in a multi-radar environment.
Chile Approved Self-Application of Baggage Tags
The Chilean Civil Aviation Authority, DGAC, completed their review of IATA's Bags Ready to Go
project, which is part of the overall Fast Travel Program
, representing annual savings of up to US$ 2.1 billion for the industry. The DGAC is in favor of allowing self-tagging services to be offered in Chile and effective immediately, all forms of self-tagging are allowed by all airlines, providing the proper authorization process has been followed.
Colombia: Reduced Pilot Flight Time Limits Project of Law
A Project of Law that proposes a drastic reduction of approximately 30% in pilot flight duty and daily flight time limits has been presented to Congress and passed the first debate.
There are three additional debates to follow prior to its ratification, however, the proposed legislation has progressed quickly and garnered the support of the Minister of Labor, as well as several of the political parties in Congress raising additional concerns. Industry experts have indicated that the proposed regulation is far more onerous than that of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Regulations. IATA sent letters to the Ministries of Industry and Commerce, Transport, Tourism and Labor, as well as the House of Representatives raising awareness that a reduction in Pilot Flight Times would not address the prevention of pilot fatigue.
IATA, in collaboration with ATAG, introduced the concept of Fatigue Risk Management Systems
(FRMS) and included a White Paper
on the subject, and requested government stakeholders attend the FRMS Session hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority on the June 2nd where FRMS experts from ICAO, Delta and IATA provided a half day workshop. A comprehensive action plan is currently in place to address the situation.
Ecuador: Forum on Connectivity, Tourism & Air Transport Supported by U.S. Embassy
IATA engaged the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador to discuss the country's current economic situation and sharing our concerns regarding taxes, costs and regulatory burdens, like the recent API regulation enforcement, that are hampering the industry's growth potential. As part of the discussion, IATA proposed for the US Embassy to support and hold a half day forum that allows engagement with relevant stakeholders to discuss the main issues affecting connectivity and competitiveness. The forum has been confirmed to take place on August 25th in Quito with participation of the U.S. Ambassador, representatives from the Ministries of Transportation, Tourism and Competitiveness as well as relevant industry stakeholders.
Global Action Day Against Airline Fraud
As part of its fraud prevention
initiatives, IATA, ALTA, payment card schemes, card issuers and Perseuss supported Europol's international law enforcement operation targeting airline fraudsters, resulting in the detention and investigation of 140 individuals found in possession of tickets bought using stolen or fake credit cards.
The two day operation
was organized globally by coordination centers at Europol in The Hague, INTERPOL Singapore and Ameripol in Bogota, with support from Canadian and US law enforcement authorities. Over 74 airlines and 43 countries were involved in this year's action day, which took place in over 130 airports across the world. Individuals arrested during the operation were also found to be involved in other forms of crimes, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, cybercrime and terrorism.
Guatemala Ratified MC99
Following significant advocacy efforts by the local IATA team, Guatemala has submitted its instrument of accession to MC99 at ICAO, with an effective date of 6 August. Member airlines operating to/from Guatemala will have the legal protection to utilize electronic air waybills (eAWB) for cargo shipments (on applicable trade lanes), they will benefit from streamlined claims processing and administration and should face fewer costly and protracted legal cases involving cargo claims. Likewise, passengers will benefit from greater protection. MC99 entered force in November 2003 and now has 120 States Parties.
Jamaica Increased Departure Tax by 150%
IATA sent a letter to Jamaica's Minister of Transport and Mining, Mike Henry, regarding the recent announcement to increase the country's departure tax by 150% (from US$14 to US$35).
The letter asked for the voidance of such an increase, since excessive taxation can have a detrimental effect on airline and airport finances, consumers and is an obstacle to the development and expansion of international travel, trade and tourism. The letter quoted a recent IATA study which estimates that the Caribbean removal of aviation taxes could generate a total discounted benefit of US$8B through 2035, which includes consumer and wider economic benefits for the region and that tax removal can potentially deliver a GDP benefit of $3.2 billion and employment growth of 51 thousand jobs.
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, and other interests have also gone on record with their concerns that the increase could end up hurting the travel market. In the interest of collaboration, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, paid a courtesy visit to IATA on June 17th. Although the visit did not reverse the government's decision, IATA is committed to working with the Jamaican government to monitor the effects of this increase.
Mexico: PLANSA Update
Several member airlines voiced concerns to IATA about the implementation of PLANSA at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) for flight departures, a system that attempts to match air traffic flow management with the planned slot and scheduled operations allocated at airports.
The concerns are due to the operational implications and potential punitive actions that may result from combining these two systems. Given the different purpose for each systems (WSG and PLANSA), IATA has written to the Secretary of Transportation requesting the discontinuation of PLANSA to minimize any operational confusion that could arise, and to avoid any punitive actions that might erroneously be imposed as a result of its use.
A response from the Office of the Undersecretary of Transportation was received indicating that the objective of the PLANSA system is to facilitate an orderly and efficient use of the slot allocations at AICM and requesting that IATA communicate its purpose to our airline members. IATA has requested members of the Slot Policy Working Group (SPWG) to monitor closely PLANSA and inform IATA in case any action or warning is taken on their operation based on this system.
Mexico: MoU Signed with CANAERO to Address Overbooking
The Mexican government is evaluating proposals that if approved would impose restrictions on overbooking and impose liability/indemnification requirements for damaged or lost baggage.
IATA is collaborating with ALTA and CANAERO on joint efforts to halt the process or attempt to minimize the eventual outcome. Each of the associations submitted individual letters to contest the proposals. IATA, in collaboration with CANAERO, participated in a meeting with members of the Mexican Congress to help educate officials as to the sophisticated software used by airlines to manage such a dynamic process, and to inform authorities about the counterproductive results that would ensue for consumers if restrictions are ultimately imposed.
IATA, ALTA and CANAERO have signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to work together on a series of advocacy fronts to advance the industry agenda using IATA documentation to press for adherence to industry standards and best practices and to participate in joint meetings with authorities, delivering workshops to influence the outcome.
United States: APHIS Challenge
IATA and Airlines for America (A4A) have joined forces to challenge the 2015 final rule that substantially increased the fees the U.S. Government collects from airlines for animal and plant inspections of commercial aircraft.
The rule decreased the per passenger fee from $5.00 to $3.96 while more than tripling the per aircraft fee from $70.75 to $225.00. The new fees became effective 28 December 2015. IATA and A4A jointly sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (APHIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent them from collecting fees set forth in the final rule. IATA and A4A are also facilitating a claim by airlines for reimbursement of these inspection fees if the U.S. District Court rules in favor of IATA and A4A in the underlying suit.
To date more than 40 airlines have indicated that they will join this claim.
Regional Charges Meeting: Key Action Items
IATA hosted the Americas Regional Charges Meeting in collaboration with ALTA, addressing airport, infrastructure and ATC charges. Separately, the charges and infrastructure teams discussed strategy, priorities, and active campaigns in the region.
The meeting was successful in improving provider-user relationships and aligning airline-IATA priorities. Action items included:
- Achieving consultations, on a set annual date, with specific service providers (starting with priority States/Service Providers). COCESNA (Central America), AAC Panama, and NAVCANADA, which participated as panelists, committed to hosting IATA and airlines before October. Furthermore, DECEA (Brazil), also on the priority list, is presently engaged in consultation with IATA and airlines.
- Increasing IATA's Charges team's presence in the U.S.
- Setting the last week of February as an annual date for the Regional Charges Meeting and adding a follow up call around July-August.
State of the Region Economic Report: The Americas
Q1 GDP data for Brazil offered little good news, with the economy contracting by more than 5% over the past year. Business confidence in Mexico continues to drift higher on solid macro fundamentals while political uncertainty weighs upon sentiment in the US.
The US$ recovered some of its April decline, rising an even 1.0% on a trade-weighted basis. Amongst the key regional bilateral rates, the MXN & COP fell by 7-8% vs the US$ while the BRL & COP both fell by ~4.5%mom. The world price of oil & jet fuel continued its recent resurgence in May. The monthly average price (for both) rose by 12-13% (US$5-6/bbl). Access complete State of the Americas Economic
Upcoming Events: Aviation Day Brazil
IATA is pleased to announce the next Aviation Day to be held in Brasilia, Brazil on October 4th, 2016 in collaboration with ABEAR and ALTA, bringing together industry experts, senior airline and airport executives, and government authorities to discuss aviation's largest opportunities and key challenges in Brazil and across the Americas region. Access agenda and event details for Aviation Day Brazil