26 November 2003
BRUSSELS - The heads of nine airline associations
representing a broad spectrum of the global aviation
industry, have issued a call for a more equitable approach
by regulators and governments to the industry, and greater
oversight of monopoly service providers.
A meeting in Brussels this month was chaired by Richard
Stirland, the director general of the Association of Asia
Pacific Airlines (AAPA), who said that the associations
were increasingly concerned about a growing array of
regulations, which threatened the viability of even the
most efficient carriers.
"These regulations all have a cost attached to them,
sometimes severe; they are often of dubious benefit to the
traveling public, and worst of all, they apply uniquely to
aviation, not other modes of transport."
Stirland said the situation arose due to a lack of
consultation with the industry prior to directives being
issued; a lack of cost-benefit analysis; a lack of
transparency in the regulatory process and a lack of public
"This simply must change," he said. "The reality is that
we are a global industry.
Regulations imposed in one region affect all airlines
serving that region."
A second major issue of concern was that of costs
imposed on airlines by unregulated or poorly regulated
monopoly service providers such as airports and air traffic
"Where those entities have been privatised, profit
margins irrespective of market reality are virtually
guaranteed; where they are government agencies, gross
inefficiencies are masked by high charges and regular
increases," said Stirland.
The airline association heads had resolved to increase
co-operation in order to bring the meassage home to
governments and the public, he said.