IATA takes a leadership role in influencing airport and airspace planning and development projects worldwide to meet airline requirements for safety, efficiency and functionality.
IATA seeks to establish and maintain a global plan that addresses high level, long-term strategy and near-term issues, as well as harmonized regional development.
Air transport requires access to high-quality infrastructure at competitive cost if it is to fulfill the demand for air travel, which, according to IATA’s 20-year forecast, is set to more than double by 2035. Collaboration with infrastructure partners—especially with airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), and fuel suppliers—is crucial.
Fair and cost-efficient airport and ANSP charges are essential to maximize customer service and boost connectivity.
Airport Ownership & Regulation
Historically, there has been a lack of clear guidance within the aviation industry or for governments on ownership and operating models for airports, and the appropriate regulatory framework to govern them.
The Airport Ownership and Regulation Guidance Booklet (pdf) is designed as a manual for decision-makers in government institutions, airlines and airports who are considering, or are impacted by private sector participation and airport privatization. It sets out recommendations for alternative ownership and operating models for airports globally, improved governmental decision-making, and required regulatory safeguards for privatized airports.
Air Traffic Management
IATA works globally with airlines, other organizations, airport and air navigation service providers, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to promote cost effective environmentally responsible improvements to the global Air Traffic Management environment.
We play an active role in making sure we have a responsible aviation industry. By working closely with our airline members, we have developed best practices that will benefit everybody and that will help reduce aircraft noise and emissions.
For IATA, it is essential that airport planning and infrastructure development supports safe, functional, capacity balanced and user-friendly airports. Working closely with airport authorities, IATA seeks to ensure that they provide flexible facilities that meet airline requirements in a cost-effective manner.
More on airport infrastructure
Supporting Economic Analysis
European Airport Charges Regulation
A new study by global competition economics consultancy CEG demonstrates how a simple, streamlined approach could be practically applied to allow regulators identify EU airports with significant market power, to which more robust forms of economic regulation would be applied, with the objective of ensuring that passengers do not bear the cost of excessive airport charges indefinitely. Read the CEG Report on Effective regulation of airport market power (pdf)
Adequate transparency is essential for meaningful consultations on airport charges. Unfortunately, the transparency requirements prescribed in the EU Airport Charges Directive are not detailed enough to ensure this will happen. Read IATA’s guidance on the minimum information that airports should share and why this information is needed.
Balanced Concessions for the Airport Industry
Airport concessions typically represent a contractual relationship between the government as the asset owner and the private sector concessionaire. Experience has shown there is a risk that the interests of these contracting parties can take precedence over those of other stakeholders, including airline customers of the airport, the passengers which use the airport and rely on quality services at fair prices, as well as the wider community and the economic benefits the airports supports.
A “Balanced Concession” is an approach that defines new ways of developing and delivering airport concession contracts based on a wider stakeholder perspective than typically used. Rather than believing stakeholders have different and adversarial objectives across the airport concession lifecycle, the Balanced Concession identifies similar and aligned interests to target a “virtuous cycle” in airport concessions which benefits the aviation industry, mitigating risk and delivering innovation, better public value, and an improved consumer experience. Read the Balanced Concessions for the Airport Industry report (pdf).
Airport and ATC charges must be cost-efficient
Airport and ATC charges must be set at levels that enable airlines to satisfy demand for connectivity, that provide a reasonable return on investment, and that allow for sufficient investment in future developments and service quality.
Since infrastructure providers often enjoy monopoly or quasi-monopoly status, governments and regulators have a vital role to play in maintaining vigorous oversight of charges and development. Airlines also require a formal role in capital investment decisions, since it is airlines that ultimately pay for those investments.
Transparency and consultation
ICAO principles have been established to ensure transparency and a proper role for customers in the decision-making process on infrastructure investment and charges. This partnership can be mutually beneficial while enhancing the passenger’s experience.
IATA continues to remind providers of their obligations to consult with users and to maintain full transparency on charges. This includes lobbying governments to scrutinize privatization and concession models.
IATA drives long-term improvements in cost efficiencies on behalf of its member airlines in airport and air traffic control charges. Securing a commitment to greater efficiency from all industry partners will ensure a sustainable future.
More details on IATA's views on airport and ATC charges issues:
- Airport privatization (pdf)
- Airport service level agreements (pdf)
- Charges discounts and incentives (pdf)
- Government concession fees and airport rent (pdf)
- Ground handling charges (pdf)
- Local air quality emissions-related charges (pdf)
- Low cost facilities and services (pdf)
Airports & ANSPs
- Airline engagement in consultations
- Cost of capital (pdf)
- Cross subsidization (pdf)
- Economic regulation of airports and ANSPs (pdf)
A reliable supply of jet fuel at transparent prices
Driving down costs
In driving down the cost of the provision of jet fuel, IATA works to:
- Reduce unjustified duties, fees and taxes on jet fuel which often contravene ICAO policy and air services agreements concluded between states
- Secure transparent pricing practices
- Encourage competition at airports for fuel supply and into plane services
- Seek economic regulation at locations where there is no competition
Shortages in jet fuel supply at airports can become very expensive for airlines, causing delays and forcing them to tanker fuel from other destinations. IATA’s activities to ensure a reliable supply of jet fuel include:
- Addressing fuel supply reliability issues at airports prone to stock-outs
- Ensuring adequate jet fuel storage/tankage facilities are available
- Assisting airlines, airports and fuel suppliers in better managing fuel shortfall incidents and crises
Industry best practice
IATA promotes the sharing of industry best practices in the provision of fuel by:
- Developing industry standards to facilitate electronic data exchange for fuel invoicing
- Providing model contracts for fuel purchase negotiations
- Working with the industry to ensure fuel quality compliance standards are assured worldwide
In addition, the bi-annual Aviation Fuel Forum gathers some 600 member airlines and jet fuel IATA Strategic Partners to drive consensus on both commercial and technical issues faced by the jet fuel community.