Comprised of ICAO, the Airports Council International (ACI), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), the IHLG works to promote and safeguard the socio-economic benefits of air transport.
Populated with many real-world examples of how air transport is improving the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world today, the 2019 Aviation Benefits Report provides a helpful and consolidated view of aviation’s current socio-economic impacts, challenges, and objectives.
Key priorities it underscores include the need to mainstream air transport sector development objectives in States’ national economic development planning so that air connectivity can be optimized as an economic development driver for travel, tourism, and trade.
Also highlighted was the need to promote diversified funding and financing sources for infrastructure development and modernization, and to maintain or augment air transport prioritization of the safety, security and efficiency performance assured through effective compliance by national governments with ICAO’s global standards.
While the 2019 edition confirms various metrics such as the 2.7 trillion dollar impact of international and domestic flights on global GDP, or the 65.5 million jobs created by air transport activity around the world, it also helpfully provides regional snapshots for these indicators.
“The release of this new edition of this report is very timely, given that it coincides not only with ICAO’s 40th Assembly, but also a new UN-wide campaign to refocus global attention on States’ achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted under Agenda 2030,” commented ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu.
“ICAO has illustrated how international air connectivity greatly assists States toward their attainment of 15 of these 17 socio-economic sustainability objectives, and we’re very pleased to be raising greater awareness of this dynamic through this report so that more national governments can optimize both their air transport and SDG benefits.”
The second edition report also illustrates how international connectivity expands the ability of local communities and businesses to access foreign supplies and markets, enhances opportunities for cultural and social exchange, and its important contributions to emergency and humanitarian response capabilities.
One example it highlights, regarding the Sunda Straight Tsunami in late 2018, illustrates how the Airlink rapid response humanitarian relief organization worked with airlines and other non-profit organizations to provide transportation for response personnel and material aid to the disaster survivors including the delivery of clean water to 500 people, solar lights to 10,000, and hot meals to more than 100,000 people in need across 19 villages and 10 schools in Banten.
With aviation traffic growth poised to double in the next 20 years, its environmental sustainability has become a critical factor in assuring that these benefits of international air transport can continue to be counted on by civil societies even as the world works more collectively toward addressing climate change.
The new Aviation Benefits Report therefore calls on air transport stakeholders to reinforce their efforts toward minimizing the environmental effects from civil aviation activities, including through the attainment of the sector’s current aspirational goals of carbon neutral growth from 2020.
It also draws attentions to the integrated measures the aviation community has agreed to through ICAO to address aircraft noise and engine emissions, rapidly embracing technological and operational improvements, the increased development and accelerated deployment of sustainable aviation fuels, and effective and transparent global emissions offsetting through ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).