Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

Enormous change has marked the years since 2001

  • Labour productivity is up 56%
  • Non-fuel unit costs are down 15%
  • Simplifying the Business is a big success

We will be 100% e-ticketing in just 256 days and air transport is providing more economic opportunities than ever before, supporting 32 million jobs and US$3.5 trillion in economic activity. The mobility that our industry provides is critical to modern life.

I see three main challenges for this Assembly

  • Safety
  • Security
  • and Environment

The answers to all are found in global standards that have made our industry great.


On safety, we can be proud of our achievements. In ten years we cut the accident rate in half. IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is playing an important role: It complements ICAO’s USOAP programme and 6 countries have incorporated IOSA in their own oversight activities. Over 160 airlines - representing 78% of traffic are on the registry and IOSA is now a condition of IATA membership.

Transparent global standards are critical to further improvements. IATA is extending the IOSA concept to ground handling where accidents cost the industry up to US$4 billion each year. We will launch the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations in 2008. I urge the Assembly to endorse this effort.


Unfortunately, we have not applied the lessons learned on safety to security.
Air transport is more secure than in 2001 but the system is a US$5.6 billion uncoordinated mess.

Global standards are a must - IATA incorporated Security Management Systems into IOSA making them mandatory for all our members. ICAO proved its ability to deliver global solutions with common rules for liquids and gels. Now ICAO must use its leadership authority in Annex 17 to harmonise a global approach to security that is risk-based with a common risk-assessment methodology.


The biggest challenge for this Assembly is the Environment. It is also ICAO’s greatest opportunity to show global leadership. Aviation’s 2% of manmade CO2 emissions makes us a small part of the big problem of climate change
but our carbon footprint is growing and that is not politically acceptable for any industry. We must find a global solution.

IATA has a clear strategy based on four pillars:

  • Invest in new technology
  • Build and use efficient infrastructure
  • Operate planes effectively
  • and once we have achieved these three let’s look with governments at economic measures - starting with positive incentives, tax credits for re-fleeting and research grants to develop new technology but also defining a global emissions trading scheme based on mutual consent.

At our AGM, IATA’s 240 members—representing 94% of scheduled international traffic—took this further, endorsing a long-term vision for our industry that calls for carbon-neutral growth leading to carbon free technology in the next 50 years. Some potential building blocks already exist - Hydrogen cells, bio-fuels and solar power.

We need governments to be involved, the leadership of this Assembly is critical.

First, the medium term: The 190 member states gathered here—must assert ICAO’s relevance on emissions trading adding political will to the technical guidance of CAEP to achieve a global solution that is fair, voluntary and effective, avoiding legal battles and political uncertainty that our financially fragile industry cannot afford.

But let’s also be clear, emissions trading will not solve the climate change issue. Governments and this Assembly must take a broader view. Airline investments in new aircraft will improve fuel efficiency 25% by 2020, governments must match this with infrastructure and operations improvements.

The IPCC estimates potential savings of 120 million tonnes of CO2 annually. I urge the Assembly to set realistic and challenging targets in line with the Global ATM Roadmap for governments to address air traffic management issues.

In the long-term, only technology can take us to zero emissions
but the enormous investments needed will only take place if there is a stable regulatory environment. States, through ICAO, must define a technology roadmap to guide both airlines and manufacturers. The industry is here to support your successful conclusion.

ICAO’s contracting states have a responsibility to lead aviation’s response to climate change with a clear vision and realistic targets. The relevance of this great institution is at stake and we must not miss this opportunity.

Thank you.