Aviation industry to face more frequent, severe test: Singapore minister

08:31, June 07, 2011      

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The adaptability of the aviation sector to increasing challenges will be under more frequent and severe tests, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Monday.

Speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 67th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit here, Tharman said there is no lack of challenges facing the industry.

"The pandemics, natural disasters, political upheavals and sharp economic cycles are now regular occurrences, more frequent than in any previous decade since the World War II. And climate change also looms as a longer term challenge," he said.

In addition, there are supply side tests such as volatile and escalating fuel prices, competition for human capital, and the challenge of ensuring stable labor-management relations, as well as questions over the ability of airport and air navigation infrastructures to keep pace with the projected growth in air traffic, he said.

The deputy prime minister said the most important strategic response of governments and the industry must be efforts to remove measures and practices that impede fair competition.

Coordinated efforts such as minimizing multiple cost layers from unilateral localized emissions trading schemes and environmental taxes will ultimately lead to more efficient outcomes for all stakeholders and allow the industry to grow in an environmentally sustainable manner, he said.

Singapore will continue to provide pursue the policy of minimal regulatory and cost burdens on airlines so that the industry players can face the challenges and stay competitive, he said.

IATA is an international trade body which established over 60 years ago by a group of airlines. It represents about 230 airlines comprising 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic.

Source: Xinhua
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