The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has issued a report titled ‘Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders’ that explores how the air transport business supports jobs, tourism, trade and the economy.
Another statement released by ATAG on Friday (July 22) took a detailed look at how governments can help protect the benefits of connectivity and how the aviation industry can “fulfil its potential as a connector of people”, specifically in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
In the report, it is suggested that the aviation industry would “roughly” be the size of Switzerland or Sweden if it were a country, thanks to the $2.7trn that it contributes to the global economy.
In addition to this, 62.7 million jobs are supported by aviation worldwide, of which 9.9 million work within the industry itself for airlines, airports, maintenance providers and air traffic management.
Thus, from employment to environmental benefits, the industry delivers significant benefits to the economy worldwide. What’s more, it’s this very industry that allows us to move around the world, exploring far flung shores, fantastic sites and different cultures.
The Latin American and Caribbean region’s air transport business is one area of the industry that has a lot of hopes riding on it, and this was highlighted in the statement released on Friday.
The region has seen “marked growth in passenger traffic in the last five years, with this growth set to continue”, it noted. However, despite this, the region is in need of infrastructure development in order to accommodate the growth that has been predicted.
Javier Vanegas, director Latin America and Caribbean Affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) explained: “Air traffic is rising rapidly in the region but this growth is hampered by fragmented airspace, varying standards and protocols and not enough sharing of data between States”.
Similarly, Javier Martinez Botacio, director general for Airports Council International Latin America and Caribbean commented that the region must “align efforts between governments and the industry to develop the required infrastructure capacity to support sustainable growth, thereby maximizing the benefits that the air transport system has proven it can provide”.
And, Air Transport Association’s executive director of the Latin American and Caribbean region, Eduardo Iglesias, called on governments to help the region as it moves forward. He said: “Governments must agree on common global rules to secure a sustained growth of air transport in the region while preserving its competitiveness in relation to the rest of the world”.
The report drew several conclusions, but one of the biggest concerns was certainly the need for the Latin American and Caribbean governments to better support the aviation industry’s development in that region.
With air traffic increasing at a steady pace but ultimately let down by an ill equipped airspace, “greater harmonization of airspace” is certainly needed, according to Vanegas.