Doha played host to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 70th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit. The event in Qatar witnessed some 1,000 industry leaders in attendance. The meeting is being held under patronage of Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The event kicked off with the election of Qatar Airways CEO, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, as president of the AGM and a firm commitment to build consensus and chart the path forward for global aviation.
“This is the first time that the AGM is being held in the Gulf. The footprint of our industry in this region is large and growing. A key element of the region’s development is its aviation-friendly approach to doing business. The governments here understand the value that aviation brings as a catalyst for economic growth,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
The AGM had attendees call on strongly for greater regional cooperation to address air traffic management issues.
“In some ways, the Gulf region is a victim of its own success. The airline industry is thriving and the region’s airports are among the best in the world. However, with both airlines and airports undergoing ambitious expansion plans, air traffic management has become an issue. Airspace is a finite resource and in the narrow Gulf corridor, space is at a premium. Maximizing efficiency is in everyone’s interest, but this will require heightened regional cooperation,” added Tyler.
The AGM is celebrated the 100th anniversary of scheduled commercial aviation. The two-day meet will address air transport’s pressing issues including: security, environment, profitability, distribution, infrastructure, unruly passengers, and industry reputation.