An IATA study, Switzerland Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators, recommends that to maximize the employment and prosperity opportunities created by a successful air transport industry, Switzerland should move forward with a cost-effective expansion of Zurich and Geneva airports, without additional restrictions on night flights, and tackle aviation carbon emissions by supporting the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Air transport’s contribution to the Swiss economy is significant. The industry at present supports nearly 207,000 jobs and contributes CHF 27.7 billion to the economy, accounting for 4.1% of Switzerland’s GDP. If the government pursues an agenda for competitiveness, an additional 36,000 jobs and CHF13 billion will be generated by 2037. In contrast, 13,000 jobs could be lost over the same period if measures to inhibit competitiveness are adopted.
The most damaging possibility is that a passenger carbon tax is imposed. In the coming months, the Swiss Council of States will consider a tax of at least CHF12 per passenger. IATA analysis suggests this measure alone could result in a loss of at least 3000 jobs. Instead, Switzerland should support the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which is due to come into effect in 2020 and will help reduce Swiss aviation emissions by around 2.7 million tons per year.
“Environmental sustainability is a key priority for the aviation industry. We’re making great progress reducing emissions and with the CORSIA offsetting scheme, we can deliver carbon-neutral growth. The Swiss government should focus on encouraging investment in sustainable fuels and more efficient air traffic control routes, rather than a passenger tax. Scrapping the tax proposal and ensuring that the nation’s airports operate efficiently will ensure air transport delivers even greater benefits to Switzerland in the years to come,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.