IATA calls for reduced air traffic regulations in Europe

The International Air Transport Association demands better infrastructure, improved air traffic management, and less regulation from European governments 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has criticised Europe for limiting competitiveness in the continent’s air industry.

The association has claimed that onerous regulation, high taxes, inefficient air traffic management, and a lack of sufficient infrastructure capacity reduce the option to capture fully the social and economic benefits of air connectivity.

The International Air Transport Association calls for higher competitiveness in Europe —  360b / Shutterstock IATA calls for reduced air traffic regulations in Europe
The International Air Transport Association calls for more competitiveness in Europe — 360b / Shutterstock

According to the association’s statement, 8.5 million flights travel through Europe each year. That activity supports 12.2 million jobs and $823 billion of European GDP. In the next two decades, these benefits have the potential to increase with a expected 50 per cent growth in demand for air connectivity.

“In 2037, 1.9 billion passengers should be travelling to, from and within this continent. That growth will create jobs and drive a modern economy. But these economic and societal benefits will only materialise if Europe provides a playing field on which its airline industry can be competitive,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“If governments make the right decisions for aviation — effective regulations, fair taxes and efficient infrastructure — the competitiveness of the entire European economy will improve.”

IATA also announced that it is developing a Competitiveness Toolkit, which will provide governments with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their air connectivity.

The association identified three key areas of action to enhance European competitiveness: improving air traffic management with ideas of reforms and modernisation, enhancing aviation infrastructure, and reducing the cost and regulatory burden.

The analysis will be updated regularly for each country, to enable stakeholders to measure progress. The first country report — on Spain — was published at Wings of Change, with key European states to follow in the coming weeks.