Kuala Lumpur - Following intense political discussions at the ICAO 39th Assembly meeting in Montreal, Canada, the Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), Mr. Andrew Herdman, welcomed the decision reached by governments on Thursday 6 October to put in place the world's first carbon offsetting scheme for any global sector.

Mr. Herdman said, "The aviation sector has committed to ambitious environmental targets, and has been successfully pursuing a four pillar strategy including technology, operations and infrastructure improvements.  This landmark agreement reached by representatives of 191 governments meeting at ICAO adds a further dimension to those efforts in the form of a comprehensive global market based measure.  We commend the 68 States who have demonstrated leadership by their commitment to be a part of the voluntary stage of CORSIA when it plans to start in 2020.  We look to other States to follow this lead and declare their voluntary participation in the CORSIA."

AAPA has been actively involved in developing the industry strategy on environmental sustainability, and Mr. Herdman was a member of the aviation cross-industry delegation at the ICAO 39th Assembly.

Mr. Herdman added, "Although a great deal of work has gone into achieving this outcome, further challenges lie ahead in ensuring that the scheme is implemented effectively by governments around the world.  Industry is committed to supporting ICAO in completing the technical work ahead which will provide the metrics, methodology and guidance needed to ensure a robust implementation framework."

Mr. Herdman highlighted, "Air transport is a key component of the global economy as it supports around 63 million jobs, USD 2.7 trillion in economic benefit, a third of world trade by value and 50% of international tourists.  It is vital that air transport is able to grow and provide the socio-economic benefits and connectivity that is expected, especially by developing and emerging economies.  The air transport industry fully acknowledges its climate change responsibilities, and has already taken action towards meeting challenging fuel efficiency goals.  Implementation of the CORSIA will be critically important in reaching the more ambitious goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020."

Mr. Herdman continued, "In the Asia Pacific region, which is already the world's largest aviation market, airlines have made significant fleet investments in the latest technology which will offer CO2 emission reductions.  Governments in the region also have an important role to play in ensuring that the necessary aviation infrastructure keeps pace with the expected growth in demand, whilst improving operational efficiencies and reducing environmental impacts."

Mr. Herdman concluded, "The travelling public can be assured that the air transport industry is fully committed to ensuring that air travel remains safe, secure, and environmentally sustainable whilst meeting society's future needs for global connectivity."