(Geneva) IATA has appointed Captain Edward Davidson as Director, Safety. Davidson, formerly Director of Flight Safety, Government Affairs and Quality Control at Northwest Airlines, will join IATA's Safety, Operations and Infrastructure Division on July 14th.

Ed Davidson has more than 26 years of airline flying experience and is well respected in the industry. He is expert with safety initiatives and LOFT (Line Oriented Flight Training) issues and has been a proponent of transparent, non-punitive voluntary safety reporting systems. At Northwest, he restructured their safety activities and introduced new safety programs.

Davidson's appointment comes at a strategic moment for IATA safety endeavours after the Annual General Meeting gave the green light to the ambitious IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Programme earlier this month.

In announcing this appointment, Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General & CEO, said "Despite many external pressures, the industry has achieved an impressive reduction in the accident rate to less than 1 per million departures in 2002. Safety continues to be the number one priority for IATA as we work towards pushing this rate to even lower levels."