During the recent Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) forum in Cancun, Mexico, IATA reinforced its call for governments to adopt and adhere to global standards and recommended practices in order to enable a safe, efficient and sustainable air transport system.
IATA director general and CEO, Tony Tyler cautioned that many governments in the Latin American/Caribbean region may be inadvertently undermining the connectivity provided by global aviation through a patchwork of non-standard rules and regulations.
Said Tyler: “Global standards underpin a safe, secure, and integrated global air transport system. A passenger can buy a single ticket, pay for it in a single currency and expect the ticket to be recognized by any of the team of airlines that will get him to his destination. The system is so reliable that we don’t often think about the enormous coordination that makes it possible. Unfortunately, some governments particularly across Latin America do not appreciate the value of such standards. As a result, this region is at risk of falling behind in terms of global connectivity.”
He pointed to safety as an example of what can be achieved through a globally harmonized approach, observing: “Global standards were crucial to transforming air travel from a high risk adventure to a routine part of daily life. And when it comes to operational safety management, the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is the gold standard. Over the 10 years since IOSA was created it is clear that carriers on the registry perform better than those that are not. For example, ALTA and IATA member carriers in the region that are on the IOSA registry have not experienced a fatality in six years.”
And he said that IATA is encouraging governments to apply the template established for safety to other areas of aviation activity.
“Global standards are not just about safety or for technical situations. Consistent application of global standards in the regulatory world can add tremendous value. Unfortunately, some governments are weakening the integrity of the air transport system by introducing a patchwork quilt of different and sometimes conflicting passenger rights regulations. At least 60 governments have introduced such rules, including 11 in Latin America,” Tyler said.
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