Supporting Carbon Neutral Growth Tops Agenda At 40th ICAO Assembly

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

With climate change at the top of IATA's agenda during the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the assembly will also tackle topics such as drones, the travel experience for passengers with disabilities, unruly passengers, streamlined passenger identification and reducing the vulnerability of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

IATA and aviation stakeholders submitted working papers on each of these topics, as well as on human trafficking, trafficking in wildlife, safety information sharing, cyber security, pandemics, air traffic management infrastructure, security and airport slots, among others.

The ICAO Assembly is a triennial event in Montreal with delegates from ICAO’s 193 member states deliberating on some of the global air transport industry’s most pressing issues.

Climate Change

Three years ago, ICAO member states agreed to implement a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and track their emissions. However, the program has been experiencing setbacks. 

"Unfortunately, there is a real risk that CORSIA will be undermined by governments piling on additional carbon pricing instruments. They are branded ’green taxes‘ but we have yet to see any funds allocated to actually reducing carbon," said IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. 

IATA called on governments to reaffirm the importance of CORSIA, participate in the program and stick to the principle that aviation’s international emissions should be accounted for only once, with no duplication.

Integration Of Drones Into Airspac

Drone technology has tremendous potential, including for door-to-door cargo shipments, urban air mobility and delivery of emergency supplies and medicines in remote areas. Their use in the U.S. alone could triple by 2023, according to some estimates. 

However, IATA acknowledged that they need to be integrated into the airspace in a safe and efficient manner.

“Industry and governments must work in partnership on the global standards and innovations needed to safely achieve the tremendous potential of drones,” said de Juniac.

Passengers with Disabilities

The industry’s ability to ensure that passengers living with disability can travel safely and with dignity is being undermined by a steady increase in national/regional disability policies that are either not harmonized or are in direct conflict with each other. 

“With aging populations, the number of people travelling with disabilities is growing and will continue to do so. To travel with confidence, they rely on consistent measures applied globally. And a harmonized global framework is equally essential for airlines to serve their customers with disabilities in a safe, secure, efficient and consistent manner,” said de Juniac. 

IATA submitted a working paper asking states to reaffirm a harmonized approach to accessibility in aviation and also recommended that ICAO develop a program on accessibility for passengers with disabilities. 

Unruly Passengers

With reports of unruly passengers rising steadily, IATA, with other agencies, submitted a working paper urging states to ratify the Montreal Protocol of 2014 which modernizes international procedures for dealing with unruly passengers. 

The protocol addresses gaps in existing international agreements that mean disruptive passengers rarely face prosecution for their misbehavior. Twenty-two states have to ratify MP14 to bring it into force, which is expected to occur before the end of this year. However, to ensure uniformity and certainty, widespread ratification is needed.

"Adoption of MP14 will ensure that states have the necessary powers to deal with unruly passengers irrespective of where the aircraft is registered,” said de Juniac.

One ID

One ID uses identity management and biometric recognition to streamline the passenger journey. In doing so, One ID will free the process of paper documentation and enable passengers to move through various airport processes with a single travel token that is accepted by all stakeholders involved in the passenger’s journey.

One ID will help reduce queues and crowds, enable risk-based assessment at border and security checkpoints, as well as make it hard for individuals to cross borders under a false identity, and thus help combat human trafficking and other cross-border criminal activities. 

“Air travellers have told us that they are willing to share personal information if it removes some of the hassle from air travel, as long as that information is kept secure and not misused. One ID is the way of the future and we need to accelerate progress,” said de Juniac.

Addressing Harmful Interference to GNSS

GNSS provides essential position and timing information supporting flight and air traffic management operations. However, a number of reports have been received of harmful interference to GNSS. 

IATA and partner agencies urged the Assembly to take appropriate mitigation measures to reduce the vulnerability of GNSS to interference and to ensure appropriate frequency regulations are in place and maintained to protect allocated GNSS frequencies.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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