Montreal - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani emphasized the importance of cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure that air transport continues to improve safety and environmental performance, and achieves financial sustainability.

“As the global recession continues to take its toll on the aviation industry, we also face challenges on many of the industry’s fundamental priorities-including safety and environment. The need for industry and government cooperation to address these has never been greater,” said Bisignani in remarks to a gathering of ICAO state representatives and Raymond Benjamin, ICAO’s Secretary General.

Bisignani noted environment as a priority for the two global organizations. “Aviation needs a global sectoral approach to address aviation’s emissions under ICAO leadership. This was the vision of Kyoto. And it must be retained when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets in Copenhagen this December,” said Bisignani.

In preparation for Copenhagen, ICAO will host a High Level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change in Montreal from 7 to 9 October 2009. “IATA is ready to do whatever is necessary to support a successful outcome in Montreal that bridges ICAO’s principle of universality with the common but differentiated responsibility approach of the UNFCCC,” said Bisignani.

“Air transport is the first global industry to commit to carbon neutral growth. And we have done it with an aggressive timeline of 2020. Our success depends on governments moving forward to implement more effective air traffic management, create the legal and fiscal framework to support the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation and fuel efficiency targets for new aircraft,” said Bisignani.

“Safety is the industry’s top priority and an excellent reminder of the power of ICAO/IATA cooperation to deliver impressive results,” said Bisignani as the two organizations signed a commercial agreement to create web-based products to support the safe carriage of dangerous goods.

Two new products will be developed in partnership:

  • iShip is targeted especially at the shipping community. It integrates dangerous goods shipping tools with IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations content. iShip will be available in the first half of 2010.
  • DGOnline will display, from any station computer or mobile device with Internet access, the latest information from leading dangerous goods regulatory and industry publications, including State and operator variations and updates, in multiple languages. It will be available before the end of this year.

“I am confident that with the leadership of Secretary General Benjamin the work of our two organizations will contribute significantly to an air transport industry that is safer, greener and profitable,” said Bisignani.

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.

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