IATA lists priorities at ICAO assembly

MONTREAL, Canada, 29 September 2022: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to address core aviation industry issues.

Net zero emissions

Agreeing on a long-term aspirational goal for the decarbonisation of international aviation in line with the aviation industry’s commitment to achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Carbon offsetting

Strengthening the landmark Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) as the single economic measure used by governments to manage aviation’s carbon footprint

Learning lessons from Covid-19

Implementing lessons learned from the economically and socially painful destruction of global connectivity that resulted from government attempts to control the spread of Covid-19

“The industry’s expectations for the 41st ICAO Assembly are ambitious but realistic given our challenges. For example, governments must learn the lessons of Covid-19 so that the next pandemic does not result in closed borders bringing social and economic hardship. We also need governments to support the industry’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with their commitment and corresponding policy measures on decarbonisation. The right decisions by governments can accelerate the recovery from Covid-19 and strengthen the foundations for aviation’s decarbonisation,” said IATA’s director general Willie Walsh

IATA submitted or sponsored over 20 papers on the Assembly’s agenda covering key policy and regulatory areas.

Sustainability: Airlines are committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To support this commitment, IATA asks governments to adopt a LTAG of equal ambition that can guide consistent policymaking globally.

Furthermore, IATA urges governments to strengthen CORSIA as the single global economic measure to manage aviation’s international emissions. This means avoiding new taxes or emissions pricing schemes; and eliminating the plethora of duplicative measures that has evolved in recent years.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel: SAF is at the core of aviation’s energy transition and is expected to deliver some 65% of carbon mitigation by 2050. IATA calls on governments for coordinated policy measures to incentivise production. IATA wants to establish a global “book and claim” system to enable airlines’ most efficient uptake of SAF.

Lessons Learned from Covid-19: IATA calls on governments to be better prepared for future health emergencies and to avoid the fragmented response to Covid-19. Where Covid-19 measures are still in place, these must be reviewed considering lessons learned during Covid-19 and evaluated against global best practices.

The challenge is to review the ICAO CART recommendations, which supported the restoration of global connectivity based on deep scientific knowledge and understanding built-up during the Covid-19 pandemic. This should enable a pandemic preparedness framework that avoids border closures with an approach featuring more proportionate and transparent risk management measures, common standards for health credentials, and better communication—including a common platform for sharing data on government measures.

Strengthened cooperation and dialogue are needed at global, regional and national levels. IATA calls for leadership from ICAO and the World Health Organisation (WHO), including a central role for the CAPSCA framework based on an ongoing and monitored work program. This should lead to a crisis response toolkit that can be activated as required and includes health authorities and industry stakeholders.

Safety, Security and Operations: IATA supports an obligation for states to consider aviation safety issues and consult industry experts when enabling new services such as 5G.

IATA calls for states to support faster standard-setting practices at ICAO and a phased approach to implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). This will help SARPs keep pace with technological developments while avoiding the confusion created when there are delays due to the complexities of testing, certification and supply chain challenges.

Data: A patchwork of laws has evolved globally for personal data collection, use, transmission and retention. These can be contradictory when airlines operate international services. IATA calls on governments to work through ICAO to bring consistency and predictability to data laws applicable to international air transport.

Global Standards and Implementation

“Global standards are at the core of a safe, efficient, and sustainable air transport industry. This ICAO Assembly has enormous opportunities to advance aviation’s decarbonisation, prepare the industry for the next pandemic, advance gender diversity, improve accessible air travel and enable the standard setting to keep pace with technology. We look forward to states rising to these and other challenges before the Assembly,” said Walsh.

“Agreement, however, is only half the solution. Decisions made at the Assembly need to be implemented. The fact that we had a multitude of environment taxes when CORSIA was agreed to be the single global economic measure to manage international emissions illustrates the importance of effective implementation.” ​​​​​​

(Source: IATA)