Global Air Transport Outlook to 2032 and Trends to 2042

According to the latest ICAO long-term traffic forecasts that were published in September 2016, world scheduled passenger traffic, expressed in terms of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK), will grow 4.6 per cent annually until 2032. By the year 2032, the world scheduled RPKs are expected to reach 12.4 trillion, more than doubling the 6.6 trillion in 2015.

The fastest growing route group is Domestic Central Southwest Asia, which is estimated to grow at around 10 per cent annually. The growth rates of route groups in and between Africa, Central America/Caribbean and Middle East, are close to the global growth rate. Route groups in and between mature markets (including Europe, North America, and North Asia), have a lower estimate of growth rate.

Global freight traffic is expected to grow 4.4 per cent annually over the same time period as passenger forecasts, and reach 400 billion Freight Tonne-Kilometres (FTKs). The Middle East has the highest forecast of annual growth outpacing global estimate by about 2.8 percentage points. The growth rate of Asia and Pacific is close to the global estimate, at 4.7 per cent. Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America will grow at a slightly slower pace than Asia and Pacific while Africa has the lowest annual growth rate of 2.1 per cent.

Total Traffic: History and Forecasts




Planners know only too well that long-term forecasts are the basis for effective planning activities when considering the billon-dollar infrastructure projects that are required to support the airport and airspace capacities that growth will demand.

With the aim of providing industry planners, policy makers and regulators with the most comprehensive, up-to-date, relevant and reliable data upon which to base their analyses, decisions and actions, ICAO took steps to develop long-term traffic forecasts in September 2016, from which customized or more detailed forecasts can be produced for various purposes. The development of the forecasts included extensive input from experts from several Member States and international organizations. The latest forecasts replaced ICAO’s decade-old forecasting techniques with the most rigorous econometric models that it has ever produced.

ICAO Long-Term Traffic Forecasts provide projections up to 2042 on passenger and freight traffic by region, as well as 50 route groups. Estimated growth rates are available for 10-, 20-, and 30- year time periods. The forecasts are balanced, independent, comprehensive and objective.

ICAO will continue its work on further refinement of the methodologies to update the existing forecasts. Users of the forecasts can benefit from a sophisticated econometrics techniques and build customization to meet their specific needs.


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As easy as Alfa Bravo Charlie

When a pilot is communicating with air traffic control, static and other interferences would often create confusion with specific English language letters. In the very early days of civil aviation and military communication, and even today when dealing with businesses over the phone, a universal spelling alphabet is used to clarify parts of messages that contain letters and numbers.

This is known as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (also referred to as the ICAO Phonetic Alphabet and the NATO Alphabet) –  the use of it was formally adopted by ICAO on 1 November 1951, as a universal standard for communicating English letters over a phone or radio.

Dissatisfaction with the existing internationally recognized phonetic alphabet submitted to ICAO for consideration, led to a first draft of a proposed single universal alphabet.  Through 1948 and 1949, in collaboration with ICAO’s language section, Professor Jean-Paul Vinay of the Université de Montréal in Canada, worked to improve it. After those studies and following consultations with communications experts and comments from all of ICAO Member States, on 1 November 1951, a new ICAO alphabet was adopted and incorporated in the Aeronautical Telecommunications Annex 10 for implementation  in civil aviation. The words that represented the letters C, M, N, U and X were replaced,  and the final version in the table below was implemented by ICAO on 1 March 1956, and is still in use today around the world.

How many letters do you know?




You can find out more about the development and implementation of this alphabet at the ICAO Museum, which is situated inside ICAO’s Montréal Headquarters.

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Air Cargo Services: Bringing power to remote areas

Air cargo services are a tremendous enabler for economic progress in developing countries, since they connect markets across continents. High value and perishable products like food and flowers are transported all over the world, providing steady employment and sustainable economic growth to regions that benefit from such trade.

To increase the power capacity in Madagascar, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa, Hassanein Hiridjee, the Head of the Malagasy conglomerate the Jovenna Group, purchased a former thermal power plant. The power station based in the coastal city of La Reunion, was decommissioned in 2013 and had to be replaced by a more modern facility.

The new power station was installed in Antananarivo, which was 1,200 meters above sea level and more than 350 kilometres away from the nearest port. It would have been too challenging for a truck convoy to navigate the small winding roads and bridges to get to the Malagasy capital.




The most appropriate mode of transport was air cargo, transportation that enabled rapid deliveries of two turbines and alternators weighing 170 tonnes each. There were 950 kilometres separating the two islands; the shipments were loaded on four flights for the journey.

Hiridjee pointed to the sustainability the develop will bring to the nation, “This project will strengthen the electrical capacity and provide access to electricity to people who do not have it currently”.

In total, the Jovenna Group invested 40 million Euros in the operation which included the upgrade of the power station. The power station is expected to be be operational in the first quarter 2017 and will provide electricity to about 20,000 homes.


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When using clouds brings more value than flying through them

Move over cumulus, stratus and cirrus…the computing cloud is playing a bigger role in the management of international civil aviation.

At the United Nations World Data Forum which is being held in Cape Town, South Africa from 15 to 18 January 2017, Marco Merens, ICAO’s Chief of Integrated Aviation Analysis, spoke to participants about the ways ICAO uses the cloud to collect, store, organize, analyze and ultimately, share information.

Highlighting ICAO’s Accident Notification System as one example of how ICAO uses the cloud, Merens described the process, “When an accident that meets the established criteria is identified, the Crisis Response Team at ICAO receives an email and message notifying them of the event, and allowing the organization to run a real-time accident monitoring system. Without the cloud, it would not have been possible to process such a great amount of information in such a short time.”

He further explained how for this example, data is collected from various data feeds, and cited the Aviation Herald, the Aviation Safety Network and Flight Global as examples of sources. The process consists of downloading data from these feed services every three hours and storing it in the cloud. The data is then processed through Elastic MapReduce or EMR on Amazon, a programming framework that supports the processing of large amounts of unstructured data into smaller tasks. Duplicate accident data is then removed, reports from different sources are combined and the desired data is automatically merged it into one single document or report. Such reports are generated automatically and contain real-time information.



“To serve the aviation community globally, some sections at ICAO have to run complex analysis and manage big data regularly. Such high-velocity and high-variety information requires cost-effective and innovative server and computer infrastructures. With its growing involvement in predictive analysis, such as identifying future needs of aviation globally or the most appropriate areas to invest resources in, ICAO started to look into cloud-based solutions a few years ago,” Merens said. “Widely available and found under various forms, cloud solutions allow users to take benefit from all new technologies, without the need for deep knowledge about or expertise with each one of them.”

The cloud refers to software and services that run on the Internet, instead of locally on a computer. Services offered by the cloud include computer networks, servers, storage and applications. In a way, the cloud is like a central location where data can be stored and accessed from anywhere at any time, always and as long as the user has a login and password. Data present in the cloud can then be distributed into multiple platforms to produce forecasts and analysis.

ICAO’s Integrated Aviation Analysis Section (IAA) transitioned to the cloud in light of this, since it is responsible for sharing safety related datasets and for producing analyses based on these datasets.

This transition occurred through the conversion of the IAA’s analysis processes into web-based cloud applications. ICAO now uses the cloud for predictive analysis of future aviation needs, to develop and test new solutions based on those findings, and to deliver airport data to users. Today, all of ICAO’s web applications are developed directly through the cloud, codes are deployed directly in the cloud, and data is stored permanently or temporarily in the cloud.

These web-based applications are all hosted in the Integrated Safety Trend Analysis and Reporting System (iSTARS), a secured web-based system protected by the ICAO Secure Portal. Indeed, for organizations looking to take advantage of the cloud, data security remains a top concern. “Effective data protection and strong encryption in the cloud is possible and available through a number of cloud solutions,” Merens said. “These solutions include policy and legislation as well as end users’ choice for how data is stored. Essentially, choosing a cloud with the appropriate certification ensures security standards are met.”




To address this, ICAO developed what it calls its “cloudability principles” to ensure what comes in from the cloud can stay in the cloud, and what is derived in-house stays in-house if it is private, but can be synced with the cloud if public.

By using the cloud, ICAO eliminated the performance and reliability issues of previous on-premises systems, allowing organization staff to focus on developing its services in a faster, better scaled and more flexible manner than what infrastructure available in-house could provide. For the IAA, using cloud-based solutions made it easier to experiment innovative techniques which would not have been possible with in-house infrastructure. The team’s members evolved from being co-workers to co-creators, enhancing principles of mobility and collaboration. Users can now access real-time information anytime, anywhere.

“iSTARS provides a quick and convenient interface to a collection of safety and efficiency datasets and web applications that provide users with safety, efficiency and risk analyses,” Merens said. “Users of such information are to be found globally, and involve aviation data analysts, safety managers, or database administrators, all of which demand constantly updated, reliable, available and easily accessible data anytime, anywhere.”

In more general terms, cloud computing offers mobility to what constitutes a changing global workforce that works from anywhere, anytime and on any device. The cloud also enhances collaboration across interoperable systems and communities of practices by promoting co-authoring practices. In addition, the cloud creates a secure, integrated enterprise online environment that is accessible remotely. Finally, cloud enterprise services are generally reliable.

“Web applications on iSTARS generally have a lifetime of less than a year, after which the application is replaced by a new, enhanced version, deleted because it did not attract any users, or in some cases even merged into another application,” Merens explained. “Our approach requires constant innovation, which is a good thing. The fact of the matter is that the cloud is the future, and sooner or later, all data-conscious organizations will have to integrate it to their architectures.”


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Cabin Safety Aspects in Accident Investigations: A Crucial Link

Though Cabin safety aspects, including survival factors, should be addressed as part of the aircraft accident or incident investigation process, they are often overlooked. States and industry might be missing out on the possibility of further safety enhancements.

A review of ICAO accident data from 2009-2013, which included commercial scheduled air transport, indicated that the majority of accidents (87.7%) resulted in no fatalities. The fact that most occupants survive accidents can be linked to improvements made in occupant protection. These improvements resulted from survival factor investigations which address cabin safety aspects during accident investigations.

Findings and recommendations from past accident investigations have led to significant improvements in the fields of cabin safety and aircraft manufacturing over the past 30 years: 16G seats, lavatory smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, floor proximity, emergency escape path markings, new requirements for cabin and insulation materials, and inclusion of human performance training for cabin crew members. These improvements have increased the survivability of occupants involved in later accidents and helped reduce fatalities among passengers and crew.




The goal of a cabin safety investigation is to analyze all aspects of an accident or incident, in relation to the actions of cabin crew members and passengers, as well as the cabin environment, and relevant systems and equipment on board, in order to identify safety deficiencies and lessons learned. The investigation may result in the development of recommendations related to operator procedures, fatigue (such as scheduling practices), training, safety and emergency equipment, aircraft systems, etc.

ICAO recently published the Manual on the Investigation of Cabin Safety Aspects in Accidents and Incidents (Doc 10062) to encourage the uniform application of the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, particularly in relation to survival aspects. It provides information and guidance to States on the procedures, practices and techniques that can be used when investigating cabin safety aspects of an occurrence. It is the first ICAO manual dedicated solely to cabin safety in investigations.

The new manual was developed with the involvement of the ICAO Cabin Safety Group (ICSG), an international, joint industry-regulatory group comprised of cabin safety experts from civil aviation authorities, airlines, aircraft manufacturers and international organizations. The International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were among the members who provided support, advice and input. The content of the manual is consistent with guidance materials contained in the Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (Doc 9756).

The new ICAO manual provides recommended qualifications and competencies for cabin investigators (CI), enabling appropriate personnel to carry out necessary functions during an investigation. ICAO defines a CI as the person responsible for examining and documenting the factors that affect the survival of occupants involved in accidents or incidents. In addition to survival factors, the CI is responsible for determining factors that affect the safety of flight and contribute to an occurrence and its outcomes. ICAO developed a competency framework which encompasses performance criteria, skills, and knowledge that should be demonstrated prior to the issuance of a CI qualification. Guidance includes the content of the CI training programme to assist States and industry implementing such training. The content can be adapted to any role such as a CI employed by an accident investigation authority or by an air operator.


cabin-safety-secondary-photoIn order to assist States and industry to investigate cabin safety aspects in occurrences, ICAO details guidance on the types of events which often include a cabin safety dimension and are classified as accidents in the new manual. This information includes: evacuation, ditching or inadvertent water contact, fire, smoke, fumes, turbulence, decompression, aircraft damage, and fatal or serious injuries (e.g. where aircraft may not be damaged).

For each of these types of occurrences, the manual contains templates to assist investigators in addressing all areas of the survival factors/cabin safety portion of an investigation. These templates explain what specific information to collect and document and why (the objective of the analysis). Information is presented under six main categories:


  1. General information that should be gathered on the occurrence;
  2. Documentation that needs to be reviewed from several sources (operator, State of the Operator, aerodrome, etc.);
  3. Aircraft and cabin-specific information regarding the examination and recording of relevant aircraft systems (such as emergency exits and evacuation slides), safety and emergency equipment specific to the type of occurrence, and conditions of the cabin;
  4. Human performance, including actions by cabin crew members and passengers;
  5. Additional information which should be examined, specific to the occurrence, such as emergency response or search and rescue;
  6. Guidelines for conducting cabin crew and passenger interviews.


In addition, the manual includes guidance for the investigation of incidents which do not meet the ICAO definition of an accident and do not require a formal investigation by the State of Occurrence.

It highlights that incidents can provide evidence of hazards or deficiencies within the aviation system and should not be overlooked. Guidance is aimed at
the State of the Operator as well as the individual air operators, who may wish to conduct voluntary internal investigations. Templates contain detailed guidance for three types of incidents deemed of common concern to air operators: inadvertent slide deployments, medical events on board, and occurrences involving unruly passengers.

Safety improvements over the past 30 years are a result of cabin investigations. As demonstrated in past accidents, the role of cabin crew members expands far beyond that of service on board. Their primary duty is safety and they play a vital role in accident prevention and survivability of occupants in occurrences, such as aircraft evacuations. Further enhancements can be made by focusing a part of an investigation on cabin safety, a crucial link in development and maintenance of a safe aviation system. The ICAO Manual on the Investigation of Cabin Safety Aspects in Accidents and Incidents (Doc 10062) was developed to provide in-depth guidance to all stakeholders when conducting investigations in order to promote the examination of cabin safety aspects and further enhance safety in the future.


About the Author

Martin Maurino is the Safety, Efficiency and Operations Officer at ICAO who heads the ICAO Cabin Safety Programme. Before joining ICAO, he held safety analysis and safety management roles at Transport Canada and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Martin began his career in aviation as a cabin crew member at Air Canada.



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RESEARCH: Québec taking the next steps towards greening aviation

Aéro Montréal and the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ) are joining their efforts to promote SA²GE, a project to develop a more ecological aircraft.

Aéro Montréal is a strategic think tank that groups all major decision makers in Québec’s aerospace sector, including companies, educational research institutions, associations, and unions, while CRIAQ is a non-profit organization that is working to increase the competitiveness of the aerospace industry and broaden the sector’s collective knowledge base through the enhanced student education and targeted, industry-focused collaborative research projects.

The SA²GE project is part of the Quebec Aerospace Strategy and of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan and is supported by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation and Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques.

Phase 2 of SA²GE began in the Spring of 2016 and includes five projects that aim to mobilize Quebec’s aerospace sector until March 2020. Projects by industry leaders, including Bombardier, CAE, Esterline CMC Electronics, TeraXion and Thales Canada, will focus on manufacturing, avionics, optics and megadata analysis. Their ambitious objectives are aimed at technological innovation, impacts on the economy and the reduction of greenhouse gases. Mobilizing small and medium enterprises, as well as Quebec universities and research centers, is also at the heart of this project.

Applications for participation in these exciting research projects must be received by 11:59 PM on 16 January 2017. More information about them and the application process can be found on the CRIAQ website, here.


The content in this article is based on material provided by CRIAQ. For further information, please send an email to or call (514) 418-0123.

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Traffic growth and airline profitability highlight air transport in 2016

ICAO released preliminary figures that indicate that the total number of passengers carried on scheduled services reached 3.7 billion in 2016, a 6.0 per cent increase over last year. The number of departures rose to approximately 35 million globally, and world passenger traffic, expressed in terms of total scheduled revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), posted an increase of 6.3 per cent, with approximately 7,015 billion RPKs performed. This growth is a slowdown from the 7.1 per cent achieved in 2015.

Over half of the world’s tourists who travel across international borders each year were transported by air. Air transport carries some 35 per cent of world trade by value. More than 90 per cent of cross border Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce was carried by air transport.

Growth helped by lower travel cost

The forecast of world real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016 is expected to be at around 2.4 percent, down from the 2.9 per cent pace projection at the beginning of the year. The revision is due to sluggish growth in advanced economies, stubbornly low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows. Despite the weak economic conditions, global passenger traffic continued to grow helped by the lower air fares owing to the fall in oil prices.

Passenger traffic

International scheduled passenger traffic expressed in terms of RPKs grew by 6.3 per cent in 2016, down from the 7.0 per cent recorded in 2015. All regions, except for Africa and the Middle East, posted slower growth than last year. Europe accounted for the largest share of international RPKs with 36 per cent, and increased by 4.3 per cent. Asia/Pacific had the second largest share with 29 per cent, and grew by 8.0 per cent. The Middle East region carried 15 per cent RPK share and recorded a growth of 11.2 per cent compared to 2015. North America, with a 13 per cent share, experienced the lowest pace of growth among all regions at 3.5 per cent. Carriers in Latin America and the Caribbean managed 4 per cent of world international RPKs and recorded a growth of 6.5 per cent. Africa with a 3 per cent share saw an improvement from 2.3 per cent growth registered in 2015 to 5.7 per cent in 2016.


In terms of domestic scheduled air services, overall markets grew by 6.2 per cent in 2016, down from the 7.3 per cent growth recorded in 2015. North America, the world’s largest domestic market with 43 per cent share of the world domestic scheduled traffic, grew by 4.9 per cent in 2016. Owing to the strong demand in India and China, the Asia/Pacific region, grew strongly by 10.0 per cent in 2016 and accounted for 40 per cent of world domestic scheduled traffic.

Low-cost carrier activity

The low-cost carriers accounted for approximately 28 per cent of the world total scheduled passengers in 2016 and passengers carried crossed the milestone of 1 billion passengers in 2016. LCCs in Europe represented 32 per cent of total passengers carried by LCCs, followed by Asia/Pacific and North America with 31 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. The increasing presence of low-cost carriers notably in emerging economies have contributed to the overall growth of passenger traffic.

Load factors slipped

Total capacity offered by the world’s airlines, expressed in available seat-kilometres, increased globally by around 6.4 per cent. As a result, overall load factor dropped slightly from 80.4 in 2015 to 80.3 this year. Load factor varies by region, ranging from 68.0 per cent for Africa to 83.3 per cent for North America. Load factor of the Middle East is under pressure with the continued strong capacity expansion outpacing the traffic growth. Load factor of the region is expected to decline from 76.3 per cent in 2015 to 74.7 per cent in 2016.

Air cargo picked up but remained challenging

World scheduled freight traffic, measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTK), grew by 2.6 per cent in 2016, a slight improvement from the 1.7 per cent growth registered in 2015. The international segment of freight traffic, which represents nearly 87 per cent of total air freight, grew by around 2.5 per cent, up from the 1.8 per cent growth in 2015. The scheduled international freight load factor declined from around 47 per cent in 2015 to 46 per cent in 2016.

Airline financial results

Fuel accounted for nearly a fifth of the Industry’s operating costs in 2016, while it accounted for a third in 2015. Significant decrease in fuel costs helped airlines to maintain their operating profit at the same level as the previous year: the airline industry is expected to end 2016 with another record operating profit of around USD 60 billion and an operating margin of 8.0 per cent. This comes after an operating profit of USD 58 billion and an operating margin of 8.0 per cent in 2015. For a consecutive year, more than a third of the profits are expected to come from the carriers of North America, whose domestic market represents 66 per cent of their total operations.

Improving economic conditions forecast by the World Bank will see traffic growth and air carrier profitability momentum continuing in 2017.


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Sustainability with Innovative EcoDesign

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier boasts a heritage of innovation that dates back 110 years to the start of civil aviation.  The acquisition of Canadair Inc. in 1986 was the first of several strategic moves that would see Bombardier consolidate leading aircraft design and manufacturing experience from around the world. In the following six years, Bombardier grew in strength and stature by acquiring in 1989 the world’s first aircraft production company: the Northern Ireland-based Short Brothers; followed soon thereafter by Learjet of Wichita, USA, in 1990; and de Havilland Canada in 1992. More recently, the company has established world-class design and manufacturing facilities in Queretaro, Mexico (2005) and in Casablanca, Morocco (2014).

As a responsible manufacturer of both commercial airliners and business jet aircraft, Bombardier views sustainability as fundamental in conducting business. It adheres to a Product Innovation Lifecycle to ensure that innovation is incorporated at every stage to produce the most sustainable and high-performing solutions, while mitigating the risks of new technology integration.


Bombardier’s C Series facility


Guided by a dedicated Ecodesign Programme that is specifically mandated to integrate environmental concerns during all lifecycle stages of each new aircraft programme – from advance design phase to end-of-life – Bombardier recently took bold steps to pioneer a new path forward for all aircraft manufacturers.


C Series: wings in assembly


On 24 September 2016, the eve of the 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly, Bombardier was bestowed with the first-ever Environment Product Declaration (EPD) in civil aviation by the Stockholm, Sweden-based International EPD System. Designated as S-P-00921, this rare accolade was awarded for Bombardier’s all-new C Series 100 single aisle airliner, now in revenue service and garnering strong reviews from operators and airports for its exceptionally low emissions and startlingly quiet operations.

Bombardier is applying this same rigour to other products. Scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2018, the ultra long-range Global 7000 business jet, which is currently in the early stages of a comprehensive flight test and certification programme, features advanced design techniques and technologies that will meet and exceed ICAO CAEP/8 for emissions and ICAO Chapter 4 for noise.


As a top steward of the constantly evolving Environmental portfolio, Bombardier also contributes to civil aviation worldwide through its long-time engagement in ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), as well as with numerous key international industry associations and agencies including the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG); the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC); the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industry Associations (ICCAIA); and the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA).


bombardier_old_svgAbout the Contributor

This article was sponsored and prepared by Bombardier Aerospace. Bombardier designs, manufacturers and supports innovative aviation products and services and provides solutions and training for the business, commercial, specialized and amphibious aircraft markets.

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Using Technology to Improve Training

With increasing global access to ever-more robust high-speed Internet connections, technology is becoming an integral and dominant part of our daily lives — from how we communicate to how we learn. Training for aviation professionals is no exception. As aviation training leaders look to the future, IATA’s Training and Development Institute (ITDI) points to how they have placed technology at the core of their training design and delivery strategy to ensure their courses have the gold standard in aviation training.


iata-classroomTraining providers in the aviation industry must cater to a demand whereby both the number of skilled personnel, and the breadth of the skills they require, continue to increase. This is no small challenge. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), along with IATA, Airports Council International (ACI), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) and other industry leaders, set global, regional and local training requirements so that our industry remains safe, secure, operationally efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. From this perspective, the main role of training providers in aviation is to ensure that current aviation professionals meet these requirements and that they maintain and improve their knowledge and skills in our fast-changing industry.

On the other hand, the same training providers must ensure that younger generations are enticed by careers in aviation and can easily access training to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to support the industry around the globe.

To meet this dual challenge, aviation training must be both effective and efficient. It must allow for a rapid transfer of the required know-how and aptitudes from subject matter experts to aviation professionals. Furthermore, it must be easily accessible and flexible, while providing a reasonable return on investment. IATA understands this reality and, as part of our vision to be the force for value creation and innovation, we have chosen to integrate leading-edge technologies in the development and delivery of our courses to enhance our global reach and facilitate access to aviation knowledge.



With advancements in technology and changes in the learning styles of younger generations of aviation professionals, the design and delivery of training is also rapidly changing. From the traditional classroom setting to other forms of training – such as the use of games and simulation to develop greater critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, eLearning, eBooks, and online assessments – training is certainly evolving.

In Africa there has been a ten-fold increase since July 2009 in the availability of reliable bandwidth. In addition, access to Internet services is now reaching many previously underserved States on the continent following the inauguration of the African undersea fibre optic cable. As a result, the number of handheld devices and smartphones have sharply increased, opening the door for IATA and other leaders in this field to make e-training more accessible, thereby diminishing the chance that any country will be left behind.



The use of simulation in the aviation industry is certainly not new. It has been known through several decades with the use of flight simulation training devices for pilot and air traffic controllers. With continuing technological and pedagogical advancements, the successes of simulation training have been recognized by both educational institutions and businesses that have adapted this technology to their specific needs.

iata-simulationTechnology-based simulation exercises like allow individuals to experience the practical adaptation of theoretical learning. They are put in a situation with defined parameters and are required to achieve business growth using concepts, principles, techniques and strategies which they learned in the theoretical training sessions.

More recently, IATA expanded its technology-based simulation capability by adding to its training portfolio the Airport Strategic Management with Business Simulation course conceived specifically for senior management. Following seven days of theoretical learning, course participants are assigned a managerial role in an airport, and over three days they are asked to use simulated systems that replicate a real-business and operational environment. The students have to make strategic planning and operational decisions in order to successfully achieve positive business outcomes at the conclusion of the simulation.

The use and adaptation of simulation technology at IATA also goes well beyond training. Indeed, it is also being developed and successfully used through partnerships in the area of consulting business. The simulation allows for real-world application of projected scenarios, both present and future. A recent example includes a consulting initiative intended to alleviate congestion and delays at the El Dorado Airport in Bogotá, Colombia. The simulation study involved the redesign of airspace, the optimization of airside capacity, and air traffic management systems. Similarly, a Level of Service assessment study was carried out for the Bonaire International Airport N.V., in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean, in preparation of a planned expansion of the existing passenger terminal.



In October 2015, IATA, in collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing, launched its inaugural eLearning and virtual classroom course in Aviation Leadership Development; a real-time, cohort-based virtual learning workshop that allows students to participate in live training sessions using online video and messaging no matter where they are in the world. The success of this new training medium is apparent in the high number of participants who have already enrolled. The learning medium opens new doors to the realm of knowledge transfer, keeping the costs to a minimum for the learner, reducing time away from the office, and cutting out the costs for travel and accommodation usually associated with in-classroom training.



IATA is also capitalizing on adaptations to existing systems through the implementation of online exams in the Travel and Tourism sector that make the examination process faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective. There was some initial skepticism from both students and instructors, raising questions mostly about connectivity and potential disruptions in areas of the world that have less reliable power and Internet connectivity. However, the feedback received after the pilots were held in the Americas and the Middle-East have been very positive. A tutorial introduces students to the online exam process and demonstrates the functionality and capabilities of this technology. Students are able to replicate the real-life examination experience to ensure they are comfortable when they eventually sit for an online exam. This new functionality will continue to be rolled out for IATA’s self-study courses and with IATA’s global training partners.



As we strive to sustainably connect and enrich our world, complete replacement of face-to-face classroom training is improbable. There are benefits associated with interpersonal, face-to-face dialogue and networking that are difficult to replace with an entirely remote learning scenario. IATA has chosen to diversify its approach and capitalize on the most appropriate learning medium for the subject matter, the format of the knowledge transfer, and the background of the trainees to accommodate a range of adult learning styles.



The use of technology assists to connect and enrich our world. As new technology is introduced and continues to be developed for our industry, the opportunities for incorporating technology into our learning sphere continue to grow, making it much easier for people to connect and for us to reach them faster than ever before. We can improve our methodologies and platforms quickly, as we have more interactions with more individuals, allowing us to transfer knowledge more efficiently in a variety of ways globally, leaving no country behind. However, we need to be cognizant that these efforts will gain the greatest advantage for our industry if they are supported by a global collaboration among all key international aviation training institutions. That is the best way to provide this generation of aviation professionals – as well as the next – with quality, relevant and accessible training.


brazeau-biophotoAbout the Author

Guy Brazeau is IATA’s Director of the Training and Development Institute and IATA Consulting and has more than 35 years of experience in aviation,30 of which have been at the international level. Mr. Brazeau has worked as a project director, lecturer and consultant in more than 45 States on airport and civil aviation-related projects and lectured the Airport Management course at Canada’s McGill University.

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The Anatomy of a Smooth Flight

Bombardier’s Global family of business jets has been designed to offer the smoothest ride a business jet can offer, and they recently set out to prove it by inviting a precision balancing act to perform on a Global 5000 aircraft in-flight. In the first video, see how the Global aircraft’s smooth ride allowed for a flawless and graceful performance. In the second video, go behind the scenes and discover the science behind the Global aircraft’s smooth ride.



Take a look behind the scenes. See how this video was made…



bombardier_old_svgAbout the Contributor

This article was sponsored and prepared by Bombardier Aerospace. Bombardier designs, manufacturers and supports innovative aviation products and services and provides solutions and training for the business, commercial, specialized and amphibious aircraft markets.

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