Ladies and gentlemen—industry colleagues. It has been an inspirational two days of discussions. Thanks to Paul and the ATAG team for putting on a great event for the industry to come together to look at the way forward on the important issue of aviation and the environment.
But of course, tomorrow is much more important than what we did today or what we have achieved in the past. By coming together as industry partners, we are building a platform to secure our future based on the key criteria of sustainability.
As I mentioned last night, we have targets, a strategy, unity and momentum. The task is to use that positive energy to move forward. And there is a lot that we need to do.
If there are three things that I would like to see by the next time that we meet, they would be….
First, as I mentioned last night, to be an even more united and resolute industry. And I hope even more broadly than just the industry. Sometimes governments get it wrong. And that is clearly the case with the EU ETS. The remarks of South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk yesterday clearly showed us that there are governments who will challenge us, but with whom we can work for the common purpose of sustainability.
So I hope that we will have moved beyond the EU ETS impasse with the industry having helped to facilitate a global solution that governments can agree to through the ICAO process.
Secondly we must not allow the EU ETS debate to slow us down in all of the other important areas in which we are working together. Top of mind is biofuels, where the challenge is to work with governments for policies that can facilitate them becoming a commercial reality. That means increasing the supply and decreasing the price. Alongside that, we must move major air traffic management projects forward…mega projects like US NextGen and the Single European Sky….ideas that are gathering momentum like Seamless Asian Skies and the individual route by route, procedure by procedure advances which, in aggregate, also make a big difference.
And finally, I hope that we will have achieved better recognition from governments for the incredible force for good that aviation is through the social and economic value that it delivers. ATAG’s “Benefits Beyond Borders” should become an industry reference point so that we can deliver the convincing message that aviation is a force for good in our world—employing 57 million and supporting $2.2 trillion in economic activity. And if we need to speak at a national level, the IATA Benefits of Aviation Studies are coordinated to help deliver the same message.
Aviation’s license to grow—in other words our future—depends as much on our success at sustainability as it does on safety. What we have discussed over these two days are top priorities. And I am convinced that the best way to secure that future is in partnership.
My vision for IATA is as a voice in a powerful industry choir—not a soloist.
And I—and the entire IATA team—look forward to working with Angela, Paul, Marion and all of our industry partners in this very important mission.