The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged all stakeholders, including governments, to work together to help alleviate a potential capacity crunch in the aviation industry in the coming decades.
Ahead of this week’s Singapore Airshow – the largest such event in Asia Pacific – IATA reiterated its projection that Asia Pacific will see 1.8 billion more air travellers in 20 years’ time, or more than half of the global total.
“If we can realise that growth potential, then jobs and economic activity will follow. By 2034 aviation in the region could be supporting over 70 million jobs and some US$1.3 trillion in economic activity. But that’s dependent on the industry having sufficient infrastructure,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s director-general & CEO, told attendees at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit.
He warned that maintaining infrastructure development in line with rising passenger demand “will be a challenge”.
“The Gulf hubs already face a similar challenge where much more coordination in airspace management is needed. Europe probably faces the greatest risk. Air traffic management is an expensive and disjointed mess as a result of governments’ protection of narrow domestic interests at the expense of continental success,” Tyler said.
“By 2034, global demand will reach seven billion passengers, but that demand can only be accommodated through a working together approach by all aviation stakeholders including governments,” he added.
The majority of the 1.8bn new passengers projected in Asia Pacific by 2034 are expected to be on routes to, from and within China.