The award was presented to Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO by the Minister of Land Infrastructure and Transport, Chikage Ogi, in the presence of the Crown Prince and Princess on the 50 th annual celebration Sky Day

Bisignani noted that "IATA is extremely proud of its long tradition of cooperation with Japan. Along with establishing the first of IATA's settlement programs in Japan over 30 years ago, we have worked closely with Japanese authorities on virtually all aspects of aviation from safety to scheduling.

Moreover, we are intensifying our activities in Japan as it considers the extremely important issue of airport privatization. Privatization should be a transparent process that results in benefits for all. It should include mechanisms to guard against monopolistic behavior by airports and it must respect ICAO principles."

IATA is currently in negotiations with Narita Airport Authority in which it is seeking a reduction in Narita's landing fees—the world's highest. Talks broke off in April with no indication of when they will be restarted. "This is first test of the systems' ability to be transparent. Talks must resume as soon as possible," said Bisignani. "How can we discuss the complex issues of privatization if cannot even agree on a fair level of charging under the current regime."