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How are Passenger Standards developed?

Industry standards simplify common processes and reduce cost and complexity. They allow airlines to work seamlessly with each other and with other stakeholders such as travel agents, airports, and governments. Standards reduce cost, encourage innovation and provide a better experience for passengers. Standards are developed and adopted under the IATA Conference structure, where all members are able to participate and vote. This activity is separate but complimentary with activity under the Industry Committees, which provide advice on policy and industry activity. The Passenger Standards brochure (pdf) outlines the Conference structure as well as standards adoption and development procedures.

The Passenger Standards Conference

From 1 November 2018, all activities under the Passenger Services Conference and the Passenger Tariff Conference were combined into a single structure, the Passenger Standards Conference. This Conference now manages all standards activity touching passenger processes (distribution, airport and financial) together with more general standards such as coding and scheduling. The Passenger Standards Conference is governed by Resolution 009 which established a simplified framework for passenger standards, the single Conference structure and five Management Boards each with oversight of standards in a key business domain.

How the structure works

The new structure makes a clear distinction between the role of three different types of groups. The Conference, the five Management Boards reporting to the Conference, and the Groups that each Board may create to develop specific areas of standards.

The Conference

The Conference has ultimate decision-making authority over all standard setting activity within its scope. Every member airline is able to attend and vote. The Conference adopts or changes Resolutions and Reccomended Practises, and elects the Board Members to oversee the standards across each business domain. The activity of the Conference is managed between meetings by a Steering Group which is made up of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Conference together with the Chair and Vice-Chair of each Management Board.

4th Passenger Standards Conference Webinar Recording and Voting Results

A fully virtual Passenger Standards Conference was successfully held on 1 December 2022. Access the webinar recording, or look at the Agenda and voting summary results to see all items that passed. *Voting Results from all conference balloting cycles can be found on the Standard Setting Workspace (SSW) Platform.

The Management Boards

Each Management Board is made up of 18 airlines representing the Conference. The Boards have oversight across the strategy and direction of standards within their domain. They manage implementation and ensure that standard setting activities are prioritized based on airline requirements. They explore new areas where industry standards could add value and propose areas where industry standards should be discontinued. Details relating to each Board can be found as follows:


Groups under each Board

The Boards may create groups to develop standards on specific areas. Depending on the Terms of Reference that the Board adopts, generally these groups will involve a core membership of organizations committing to the activity, and may also have the opportunity for observers, or participation on a more ad hoc basis. These Groups review proposals to create or amend specific areas of standards. Technical experts from airlines, Strategic Partners and Industry Stakeholders discuss each proposal to ensure that the requirements are clear and well understood, and that the proposed solution meets the requirements. Groups under each Board must be re-endorsed by the Board at least every 12 months to continue. This ensures that the work of the Group is still adding value.

Where are Standards Published?

All IATA standards are developed by airlines and industry stakeholders, and adopted through a transparent and established governance process, make sure that your airline always has access to the latest version of all standards. Adopted standards are published in Passenger Standards Conference Manual (Resolutions 200 - 798, Recommended Practices 1008 - 1800) and  Passenger Standards Conference Tariff Manual (Resolutions 011-312). 

Airline Accredited Representatives

Resolution 009 establishes a single conference structure. The Conference fullfills the functions of both the Passenger Services Conference and the Passenger Tariffs Conference, which still exist separately within the Provisions.

For voting items relating to Resolutions 011 – 312, only individuals accredited as their airline's PTC representative (or their delegate) may exercise their airline's vote at the Passenger Standards Conference.

For all other voting items relating to all other Resolutions, Recommended Practices and other standards development activity, only individuals accredited as their airline's PSC representative (or their delegate) may exercise their airline's vote at the Passenger Standards Conference.

Under Resolution 009, member airlines may wish to simply accredit a single delegate as both the PSC and PTC accredited representative. This accreditation will allow one person to vote on all items at the Conference, and whenever there is a Mail Vote or ballot.

Please see the list of Airline representatives (pdf). Changes and applications for Airline representatives may be made using the Accredited Representative Application form.

Actions for Airlines

Update your Accredited Representative

Every airline has a single accredited representative, who is authorized by the airlines CEO to vote at the Conference on any matter touching Passenger Standards, which includes binding Resolutions. This person also acts as a focal point for the airline, endorsing the airline’s Board nominations and ensuring alignment across the airline on strategic issues touching passenger standards. As the new Passenger Standards Conference involves the combined activity of two Conferences (PSC and PTC), airlines may accredit separate representatives for the Passenger Services Conference and Passenger Tariffs Conference (PSC and PTC) to vote on different Resolutions, however, with the Conferences being managed in a single framework with a single annual meeting, most airlines have now simply accredited one representative to vote on all matters. The accredited representative should have a similar profile to a Board delegate – a senior decision maker able to liaise internally on a wide range of issues.

Updates to the accredited representative may be made at any time, with CEO approval, using the Accredited Representative Application form.

Nominate Technical and Subject-Matter Experts for involvement on groups under each Board

Each Board may create Groups to develop specific areas of standards. Each Group under the Boards must be renewed every 12 months, and may be disbanded by the Board at any time, if requirements change. Full details of the groups active under each Board is available in the sub-directories on the left of the screen. If you want to commit to active involvement in standard setting (working on proposals, developing documentation, attending all calls and face to face meetings) for a minimum of 12 months, you can nominate to be part of the core membership of the group. Please contact the IATA Secretary of the group for more information.

Management Boards

Airlines on each Management Board represent the industry and provides strategy and direction of standards within the domain of the Board. Airlines are elected by the Conference to serve on each Board for two years, Airlines should indicate with their nomination their intended candidate, who should be a senior decision maker with authority within their airline over all or part of that Management Board’s domain. Nine new places on each of the five management boards are open each year, as the two year term of nine existing members expires. Nominations for these nine places open in September, and the nine airlines are elected at the Conference meeting in October. Details of the nomination process are published on IATA Standard Setting Workspace. If you are an IATA member airline or Strategic Partner, you can register as an observer to the PSC page to ensure you receive these notifications. 

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