The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for urgent action to address the infrastructure crisis in order to secure air transport’s future.
“Having the infrastructure to grow is vital to our industry's future. But in many key places, it is not being built fast enough to meet growing demand. And there are worrying trends which are increasing costs,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in his keynote address at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit in February 2018.
Having sufficient and cost-efficient infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region is a top priority as the region is center stage of the industry’s overall growth. 7.8 billion travelers are expected to travel in 2036. Of the 3.5 billion trips to, from or within the Asia-Pacific region, 1.5 billion will touch on China. And India is another emerging power-house as the Indian aviation market continues to develop.
De Juniac identified Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila as his top concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. He praised Seoul’s Incheon Airport, which added runway and terminal capacity without raising charges for airlines and passengers, and extended an airport charges discount introduced two years ago. “This sets a very positive example for other airports to follow. It also demonstrates great understanding of the role aviation plays in linking the Korean economy to economic opportunities globally," said de Juniac.
Turning to Singapore, he recognized the foresight of the government in its expansion plans for Changi Airport, including Terminal 5. “We must ensure the plans for T5 are robust enough to meet the high standards of airline operations and passenger convenience users of Changi Airport have come to expect. And we need to get the funding model right to avoid burdening the industry with extra costs. The prize to keep in sight is the airport’s contribution to Singapore’s overall economy,” said de Juniac.