From the SDGs: Relevant targets

1.4) By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

1.a) Ensure significant mobilisation of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.

Did you know?

UNICEF’s airline partnership Change for Good has raised $150 million by collecting coins from passengers, helping to save and improve the lives of millions of children around the world.

Relevance to aviation

Although air transport has a limited role to play in helping those living under extreme poverty, improved connectivity can help build economic development to lift standards of living. Aviation directly creates jobs in the industry, as well as other sectors indirectly, providing 62.7 million people worldwide with their livelihoods. It is also estimated that 54% of international tourists travel to their destination by air, helping to support employment in the tourism industry. Remittances (money sent home to developing countries by citizens working overseas) account for vital foreign income in many States. The World Bank estimates around $479 billion is sent in remittances each year – the links home made possible through rapid air transport.

Examples of action

  • Turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR prides itself on the versatility of its aircraft to reach remote communities, opening up routes that are not suitable for larger jet engines, but vital for the people that can be connected by air services.
  • The Virgin Atlantic Foundation invests in communities in Africa, India and China through the WE villages programme, where they invest in long-term development and alleviate poverty.
  • Brussels Airlines has set up the b.foundation, which focuses on alleviating poverty in Africa.
  • The Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit charity organisation which aims to improve the quality of life for children, regardless of geographical, political, or religious boundaries.

How governments can assist

  • Promote air transport as a key driver for economic development by prioritising aviation infrastructure development in remote communities.
  • Positive economic incentives should be developed for aviation companies to operate routes and set up business in States in special situations.
  • States should ensure that aviation and tourism are part of their development plans by mapping and prioritising their requirements for assistance and capacity building, in line with the SDGs.