Nancy Young, the Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Airlines for America, kicked the day off with a re-cap on what happened yesterday; the future, ICAO, sustainability and so much more. When it comes to tackling environmental issues in air transport, she said that “there is no silver bullet, it’s silver buckshot;” there needs to be multi-angled solutions.
In his presentation, Brian Pearce, IATA’s Chief Economist said that the “[aviation] industry [had] a fantastic record on efficiency,” and that carbon neutral growth would be critical for aviation’s future. The first panel of the day then looked at the preparations for growth and how this was being done sustainably. Tan Lye Teck, Changi Airport’s Executive Vice President for Airport Management said that as the Asia-Pacific region created infrastructure to accommodate the industry’s growth, each new building was more efficient than the old ones. Olivier Jankovec highlighted the success of ACI’s Airports Carbon Accreditation programme which today announced that Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport had been declared carbon neutral!
Later, the second panel took on the goliath topic that is the next one hundred years: what steps should the industry be taking? What can governments do to help? What needs to happen next? Aviation has come so far in the last 100 years that predicting the future is not an easy task. One certainty is that developing economies, especially those in Asia-Pacific, mean that huge growth is to be expected with more and more people gaining access to flight.
This expected growth needs to be achieved sustainably so that industry meets its environmental commitments. The panel therefore focused on what the industry needed to facilitate this huge growth. Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of the International Airlines Group suggested that the “ICAO process is absolutely critical as ETS is far more efficient than taxing industry which often has adverse effects.”
Angela Gittens, the Director General of ACI World said that “in order for the industry to obtain permission to grow, we need to take a broader view of sustainability that would allow us to reconcile and balance environmental, economic and social demands.”
During the closing remarks from Industry leaders, IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler encouraged the industry with a final word on sustainable aviation: “The main message is that we need to stay united and stay the course. We need the credibility to earn our licenses to grow with our customers.” With that, delegates left with plenty of food for thought from both today and yesterday’s discussions on the future of sustainable aviation.
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