Sunday, November 14, 2010

IATA Tells Israel To Improve Air Freight And Passenger Services

Government Advised to Attain Global Standards
Shipping News Feature

ISRAEL – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani didn’t mince words when he called on Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz last week to utilise global standards to shore-up the country’s air transport sector. Bisignani made specific comments on safety, security and infrastructure. Bisignani urged Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) saying that remaining an IASA category 2 nation was a “national embarrassment” and costly for the financial health of Israel’s native carriers. Bisignani said:

“Aviation is important for Israel. Aviation builds bridges of commerce and goodwill among people, businesses and nations. Airlines connect over 2.3 billion people and 40 million tonnes of cargo annually. This gives aviation an important role to play in this region as it does around the world. But success does not happen by chance. It must be supported by effective government policies that promote a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible industry.

“Let’s be clear, global standards are not out of reach. Israel’s four IATA member airlines (Arkia Israel Airlines, C.A.L. Cargo Airlines, El Al and Israir Airlines) are on the registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for achieving the highest standards in operational safety management. The regulator must also uphold global standards decided through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

Bisignani also highlighted the urgent need for Israel to designate an alternate airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport to handle operational irregularities. Ovda Airport, the previous alternate airport for commercial flights, was closed to scheduled traffic earlier this year, although it does continue to provide services for charter operations. Larnaca is the current designated alternate should Ben Gurion become unavailable.

The IATA boss said that although Israel did a great job in the field of security events in the past few weeks were a reminder that aviation security is a constant challenge. The IATA vision of cargo security combines a supply chain approach, modern technology and intelligence supported by effective information gathering. By converting freight documentation to electronic format from 1st December using IATA e-freight governments will have access to much greater insight on who is shipping what and where. IATA already have e-freight capability for over 80% of cargo markets and claim the possibility of $4.9 billion in efficiency gains with full implementation.

Bisignani went on to abandon Israel’s recently introduced ‘unilateral and ineffective Security Code Programme’ saying effective security must follow international standards and requirements must be clearly communicated to the airline community and the new policy was ‘the opposite end of the spectrum’. Further appeals were made to the minister to include the country in global carbon reduction aspirations and maintain a policy cost control for both freight and passenger customers.

Photo:- IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani