Video of the week – The aeropolitical and regulatory landscape: industry perspectives

It is now 75 years since the aviation regulatory framework was established, and with the evolution of the industry many believe it is time for a serious global review of its relevance today. The “business of freedom” underpins 10% of global GDP and it is too important to be constrained by economic regulation that was designed to meet entirely different conditions.

What trends and opportunities await our industry? What strategic challenges and risks are we set to face in the year ahead? Discussions will cover Europe’s aviation relations with the world, a post Brexit world and its repercussions, North America’s approach to open skies, how open skies have helped Asia’s emerging markets, Africa and SAATM, airport privatisation and infrastructure, air cargo and industry sustainability.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation attempted to address those questions in early Feb-2019 with its Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit, which had more than ten hours of agenda content. Alongside panel discussions designed to address the latest development in aviation regulation in different parts of the world, individual perspectives were studied from the viewpoint of industry sectors.

How can airlines achieve their sustainability goals?

Just as airlines begin to savour the prospect of financial sustainability, the threat of failing to meet sustainability goals can quickly replace that challenge. In the area of climate change, of course, national and EU emissions targets provide clear goals for airlines (and airports) to plan for. But the rapid growth of the industry intensifies the need to act quickly and effectively. And sustainability relates to more than simply our approach to climate change.

Is airport privatisation and corporatisation good for industry and consumers?

It is no secret that the airline industry is confronted by a crisis of infrastructure. As passenger traffic has bloomed, well above long term growth rates in recent years, the level of congestion at many of the world’s major airports has seemingly reached tipping point. Governments are rarely prepared to fund new expansion, even where environmental pressures allow it. So, seeking private funding appears to be the solution. But striking a balance between attracting private financing and achieving national economic goals has become a seemingly intractable problem.

Air cargo growing in prominence, but challenges remain

Air cargo is viewed by many passenger carriers as a “stepchild,” but changes in the global supply chain have given cargo greater prominence. The surge in growth of “e-commerce” has transformed consumer behaviour and has driven major increases in demand. Moreover, for countries such as the State of Qatar, having unfettered access to air cargo markets is a critical matter of national security.

How does the aviation industry ensure congestion doesn’t limit growth? Unlocking the value of slots at congested airports

Airport slots undoubtedly have a “value”, especially at congested facilities. It is sometimes argued that unlocking that value can lead to more commercial outcomes than are achieved in most cases today. Yet there is no commonality in the way airports and governments treat slot “ownership”.