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.
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
Americas Focus, Q3 2015
Recently I attended the World Financial Symposium in Barcelona and was able to catch up with a few of you in person. One message I heard was very clear: It is your expectation and our priority to keep your monies safe and allow you to operate as efficiently as possible to generate a healthy profit in this ever challenging industry.
Therefore, the critical situations we are currently facing in regards to the repatriation of funds in Venezuela and Argentina remain on top of our regional agenda. Please find the latest details below and rest assured we will continue to fight on your behalf in both countries.
I would also like to inform you of our next big regional event in the Americas: The Aviation Day Colombia in Bogota on December 2nd. We will send a save-the-date shortly and for those interested in attending, thank you in advance for your support.
Until then, please let me know if you have any further questions in regards to the below action items, covering our 3rd quarter activities.
Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas
Postponement of overflight fee increase in Panama
Following IATA's letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama opposing the proposed increase for overflight fees of 97% over the next 3 years, effective July 1st, a meeting was held with the Civil Aviation Director resulting in a tentative postponement until January 1st, 2016 IATA, in collaboration with A4A, has engaged the assistance of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to press Panama into having a more cooperative dialogue with the carriers prior to taking further action. We continue to monitor the situation for any further developments.
Venezuela Crisis: Fuel charged in USD
In late August, Venezuelan authorities announced imposed payment for all fuel purchased by foreign airlines operating in Venezuela in USD. Carriers are adamantly opposed as this is one of the few remaining items that has enabled airlines to retain control of their costs for doing business there.
IATA responded strongly, opposing via direct letters and media activities
, as it impacts operational costs and undermines one of the key principles of equal treatment and opportunity established by the Chicago Convention. IATA is also closely coordinating with the local BAR. Total blocked funds now stand at US$3.8 billion.
U.S. DOT Website accessibility
IATA remains concerned that many IATA members are not prepared to meet the deadline, leaving them subject to potential fines of US$27,500 per day per violation. DOT will not provide an extension of this deadline.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has sent out a reminder to carriers flying to, from or within the United States regarding their obligation to make their website accessible to disabled travelers by December 12, 2015.
Fighting DECEA ATC user charge increase in Brazil
IATA met with DECEA for transparent and non-discriminatory user charges. We communicated our disappointment with the unilateral increase of TAT charges of 72% as of October 2015, contradicting the Air Force Command’s instruction number 1.282/2012.
As the increase is applied uniformly to domestic and international flights, the impact for international flights has been disproportionately higher given the latest exchange rate developments. IATA also sent a letter to the Air Force Command, DECEA and SAC expressing our disappointment on how the increase was implemented and requesting a user charges consultation group meeting.
Repatriation of funds in Argentina
Recently the repatriation issues were in the local Argentinian press, information related to the effects and sanctions that bilateral agreements might have to local flag carriers generated buzz and comments from airlines. There was no reaction from authorities to these so far. IATA in conjunction with the local airlines currently being affected have aligned and that there are no
further actions to be taken until the October 25th Presidential elections as any additional contact with the press might be counterproductive. We will continue to monitor
the situation closely and reconvene after the elections to define a new strategy.
Air Navegation Services in Central America
Over the past 4 years, the Central America air navigation services provider, COCESNA, has unsuccessfully attempted to force carriers to enter into an Air Traffic Control (ATC) agreement for the provision of navigational services. Several carriers have expressed reluctance to enter into a contractual agreement based on with current conditions, as well as concerns with its precedent setting nature. Carriers have been informed that they will be required to provide a 3-month bank guarantee if they are unwilling to sign a proposed contract. Collaborative efforts through A4A, the US Dep. of Transportation (DOT) and IATA to halt this latest attempt are currently underway. The DOT has agreed to press Civil Aviation Authorities of each of the member states of COCESNA.
Routes Optimization & corresponding cost savings in Latin America
Via a dedicated project in the IATA Regional Coordination Group (RCG), IATA is working on improving flight efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
, and lifting ATM restrictions/constraints on the en-route phase subdivided into 2 or 3 areas on the upper airspace, running along the border of the various US FIRs down to the Caribbean and LATAM, in coordination with NACC PBN task force. IATA is working with states and ICAO to optimize the longitudinal separation applied by the different ANSPs along target areas, progressively from 80NM to 20NM and where applicable, to 10 NM.
The goal is to increase current airspace capacity and flexibility, cruise flight levels availability and reduce ATM restrictions, resulting in operational efficiencies and cost savings for airlines. We expect first benefits at the end of 2016 with separation reduction from 80 to 40 NM and whole project fully implemented by end of 2019. More info:Director Safety & Flight Operations forTthe Americas, Carlos Cirilo.
Charges in Curacao
In March of 2015, IATA was informed of the intent of Dutch Caribbean Air Navigation Service Provider N.V (DC-ANSP) to become an independent administrative body, planning to recover the associated costs with the introduction of a Regional Safety Oversight (RSO) Charge on passengers to fund a newly independent Aviation Regulatory office.
In addition, an airport charges review for the period 2016-2018 was proposed by Curacao Airport Partners (CAP) despite the non-resolution of Passenger Facility Charge and Landing Fee increases that were implemented at the end of 2012 without transparent justification Lastly, legislation to regulate both airport and ANSP charges is being developed. IATA urged the government and industry stakeholders via strong, continual lobbying efforts to adopt a transparent and inclusive consultation process in line with ICAO recommendations. More info: Area Manager Caribbean, Lionel van der Walt.
BOG ATM project update
IATA’s project to redesign the airspace and optimize airside capacity at Bogota El Dorado International Airport is on track. A very detailed data survey has already been completed with more than 110 obstacles assessed, inside and outside of the airport perimeter. IATA also conducted an in-depth analysis of the current situation and surface management issue identification from runway exit taxiways to aprons and stand flows. We are now concentrating on short term initiatives like a gradual reduction of the minimum required radar separation to three NM. Next steps are the CONOPS validation, air-traffic controller training and implementing short term initiatives to generate early operational benefits. In its first year, the project is forecasted to deliver US$97 million in potential savings.
NDC developments in The Americas
NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a travel industry-supported program launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard allowing for product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and a transparent shopping experience. In the Americas, the IATA team has actively engaged 20 member airlines in 2015 via dedicated sessions and worked with the entire industry chain, resulting in full collaboration and understanding of the NDC Standard. In addition, three regional members, Gol, Air Canada and American Airlines, are participating in NDC pilots.
Unruly Passengers: growing problem
IATA has just published updated unruly passenger
incident statistics (including data for 2014 sourced from safety reports submitted to the STEADES database), which shows that unruly passenger incidents continue to be a significant issue for airlines. In 2014 there was an average of one incident for every 1,289 flights (2013: 1 for every 1,362).
It is likely that this significantly underestimates the extent of the problem since reporting is non-mandatory (so reflects the reporting culture within each airline) and is limited to 150 participating carriers. IATA continues to advocate for the ratification of MP14 to enhance the legal deterrent and the Dominican Republic is known to be at an advanced stage in the ratification process.
Electronic Invoice Requirement in Mexico
Mexico’s Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) rescinded an exemption granted to airlines pertaining to the issuance of electronic or fiscal invoices. SAT eliminated the 48-hour gap previously provided and stated that the new requirement would go into effect on 1 September 2015.
Many carriers explained that they are unable to issue real time invoices and would not be able to immediately comply. IATA, in coordination with A4A, ALTA and CANAERO, submitted letters and or participated in discussions with SAT to seek an extension until 31 December 2015. SAT is unwilling to change its 1 September compliance date, but we have reason to believe that SAT is open to receiving detailed information from individual carriers