Sustained Growth for Bombardier in 2017

The sustainability of the aircraft manufacturing sector received a boost on 16 February with Bombardier confirming that it continued to show solid performance throughout the 4th quarter of 2016. The company is currently executing its five-year turnaround plan. More specifically, Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft, Business Aircraft and Transportation units exceeded 2016 guidance and full-year margin targets in consolidated earnings and cash performance. Additionally, all new aircraft program milestones were met with the CS100 and CS300 entering service and the Global 7000 beginning flight testing. These positive results have left Bombardier with 2017 guidance affirmed and on track to achieve all 2018 and 2020 targets.


“Our turnaround plan is in full motion,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “In 2016, Bombardier delivered on its financial commitments. We met our program milestones and we’ve positioned the Company to achieve all of the financial goals in our five-year turnaround plan, including being cash flow break-even in 2018.”

Further highlighting the Company’s progress in the fourth quarter was the successful entry-into-service of the CS300 aircraft with airBaltic, and the strong performance the CS100 aircraft has delivered with SWISS since starting commercial operations over six months ago. Bombardier’s all-new, class-defining, ultra-long range business jet, the Global 7000 aircraft, also began flight testing in the fourth quarter and remains on schedule to enter service in the second half of 2018.



“As we begin 2017, we are confident in our strategy, our turnaround plan and in our ability to unleash the full value of the Bombardier portfolio,” continued Mr. Bellemare. “We remain focused on improving operational efficiency, flawlessly ramping up our new programs and maintaining a disciplined and proactive approach to deliver value to customers and shareholders in any market environment.”



About the Contributor

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

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Aviation is at the heart of sustainable development for small island countries

These low-lying coastal countries tend to share the same challenges: small but growing populations, limited resource bases and dependence on international trade because of their remoteness and they are faced with higher energy, transportation and communication costs. Among the other challenges these States face when working to implement sustainable development goals is their vulnerability to the impact of climate change and natural disasters.

We’re talking about Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of course. Aviation is crucial to all sectors of their economies, of which tourism is often by far the most important. Favoured destinations for millions of tourists every year, with most of them arriving by air, tourism provides substantial economic benefits to everyone involved in the value chain, and it helps SIDS compete in global markets. Investing in their air connectivity is critical to helping them foster tourism growth, the growth of connected industries, and their socio-economic growth generally speaking.

The Government of the Bahamas, with the support of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, organized a Symposium on “Implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in SIDS: equipping public institutions and mobilizing partnerships” to focus on how to best equip public institutions and mobilize partnerships for meeting small island challenges.



At the Symposium, which is being held in Nassau, Bahamas from 21 to 23 February 2017, ICAO’s Air Transport Development Manager, Frederic Malaud, spoke to participants about how ICAO can help build air connectivity partnerships. Citing geography, airline strategies, air navigation services, facilitation, and market access through air service agreements, as some of the factors that impact air connectivity, he gave examples of some aviation projects that ICAO has supported in the Caribbean Region:

  • Improvements to the Saint-Vincent aerodrome infrastructure;
  • Development of regional training centres in the NAM/CAR region;
  • Increased safety, security and air navigation effective implementation at the lesser Caribbean Islands
  • Strengthening of Regional Safety Oversight Organization through distinct and interlinked Projects by which the strength of all member states (through the RSOO): eliminating weaknesses of each individual State

Throughout the event, participants will be discussing options and innovative solutions for planning, reviewing policies and institutional frameworks, when their States have limited financial resources and capacities to cope with the physical, social and economic impacts of the challenges they face.

According to the  United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, there are 57 SIDS in three geographic regions: the Caribbean (27 States), the Pacific and the Africa (20), Indian, Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (10). Improving air connectivity with these countries is critical to helping to foster tourism growth.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, which seeks to strengthen universal peace with all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnerships to implement the plan. It builds on the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, which represents the sum of SIDS key challenges and the means for addressing them.

For more information about the 2017 Symposium in the Bahamas click here.

To watch the event live click here.


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An important reminder about wearing your seat belt in flight

Significant numbers of injuries in the cabin were prevented by a flight crew’s actions in securing the cabin when informed of a forecast of severe turbulence on a 30 December 2015 flight, Canada’s Transport Safety Board (TSB) reported today.  According to the TSB’s press release:

35 minutes before entering the area of known turbulence, the first officer directed that the inflight service be stopped and that the cabin be secured. Seat belt signs were turned on, and several announcements were made in English, French and Mandarin, stating that the flight was approaching an area of turbulence and asking the passengers to fasten their seat belts. Despite these measures, many passengers were not wearing their seat belts when the flight encountered severe turbulence. During the encounter, 21 passengers were injured, one of whom sustained a serious injury.

The TSB produced this safety video to depict the event that took place on this aircraft, and the effects severe turbulence would have on passengers who are not wearing seat belts.


ICAO Standards  support the proper use of seat belts as one of the most basic and important factors in surviving an accident. Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft indicates that seat belts must be provided for every seat on a commercial passenger aircraft.


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Knowledge as a powerful and limitless resource in Mongolia

Acquiring a method of learning is more important than being taught.
Having the right attitude is more important than being educated.
Having work skills is more important than being employed.
Using knowledge is more important than having knowledge.


Around the world there is an entirely new generation whose development skills are based on the latest materials and information technology that is generated using everything from bio- to nano-technology. Current knowledge-based technological developments are a function of each nation’s development; the impact of innovation on worldwide development trends is inspired and determined by the development of States and the value placed on intellect and knowledge. Increasingly, States are eager to enhance education and to consider knowledge as a determining factor in supporting the economic and industrial capacity of nations.

The strategy of Mongolia’s Development Policy: Mongolian National Development for Knowledge-based Economic Development 2007-2021 has been to define the goals and objectives for the development of new technology and innovation based on knowledge, and for the last ten years they have implemented scientific, knowledge-based innovation in all economic and social sectors.

Within this strategy, the Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority’s Aviation Training Center has been tasked with providing information about the policies for recruiting and training human resources, the importance of development of the civil aviation sector, and the projects and programmes instituted for improving training activities, as well as the methods and further goals designed to support continuous development.

This Aviation Training Centre (ATC) is responsible for preparing the next generation for the Mongolian civil aviation sector and training and developing personnel by improving their knowledge and education. It has received Civil Aviation Rules Part-141 Aviation Training Organization Certification and is responsible for civil aviation training. It is the sole Associate Member of ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Programme in Mongolia.


Aviation Training Centre team from the the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia


Building on its 37-year history, the ATC is committed to establishing a competency-based vocational education and training system that meets the demands of the labor market. To do so, the development of the knowledge and skills of its trainers in accordance with modern demands and needs, is paramount.

The Mongolian State Great Hural (Parliament) passed the Government Aviation Policy until 2020 to be able to develop the civil aviation sector as a trend-setting leader of social development in the country. This Policy was aimed at increasing the competency of Mongolian aviation personnel in the world market by building a professional human resource team with expanded knowledge, skills and experience, and whose objective was to create long-term sustainable economic development. The purpose of implementing these national programmes was to provide the basic conditions to develop human resources skills and knowledge, to provide professional re-qualification training, and to develop initial training for basic aviation professionals.

These Human Resource Development Programmes throughout the civil aviation industry have been approved by the Government of Mongolia and are being implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Aviation Training Centre, the implementation arm of the Human Resource Development Programme for the civil aviation industry, is responsible for a set of measures and priorities for capacity-building aimed at introducing advanced technologies and creating favorable conditions for headquarters to determine and reform policy management and ensure that professionals and teachers are specialized and experienced in this field.



The Centre’s primary goal is to improve aviation safety and security, as well as to improve the productivity and efficiency of the organization through the development of human resources capacity. Priorities include:

  • The Civil Aviation Human Resource Development Programme and the Re-qualification Training for Employers, Retraining and Skill Development Training Programme. These programmes have been approved as the basis for dealing with supply and demand issues in the industry and training needs. The programmes have been successfully implemented and are ongoing until 2020.
  • The organization provides training for new civil aviation professionals to meet human resource needs, to improve knowledge and skills for personnel and to qualify and train them in hands-on practice in their field. The Centre is collaborating with aviation training organizations and universities in the Russian Federation, the United States, Canada, Australia, the Ukraine and Thailand to train new aviation professionals.
  • As an Associate Member of the ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Programme, the Centre has been reforming its training system since 2013 by introducing a competency-based training approach so that students will develop the appropriate attitude and a systematic set of knowledge and skills to bring to the workplace. Over the last four years, as a result of the creation of the conditions for providing new training techniques and the continuous development of instructors, trainee numbers have increased dramatically and training efficiency has improved markedly.

The number of graduates from the Aviation Training Center of Mongolia in the past 15 years



Mongolians are a nomadic civilization. The number of people migrating to the city has increased dramatically in recent years. Industrialization and tourism development have required employers to search, first, for employment candidates with the right attitude and skill passions, second, with the potential skills and capability to learn and to develop and, third, with the required knowledge to carry out the tasks.

To prepare professionals to meet employer requirements and to improve the quality of training activities in the aviation sector in the face of these social and economic changes, the Aviation Training Centre of Mongolia has undertaken a number of initiatives. These include:

  • Developing an “Aeronautical Information Management Specialist” Standardized Training Package;
  • Collaborating, beginning in 2015, with universities and institutions in order to strengthen our local training activities, and establishing agreements with five universities to train 107 professionals;
  • Since 2013, working to prepare instructors and teachers to develop capacity-based training programmes and to train them in the practice of capacity-building methods of training. Today, they compile training data and adjust teaching methods accordingly. The Centre has trained a total of 15 experts at the ICAO Training Developers Course for the preparation of standardized training packages to allow them to deliver capacity-based training in the area;
  • Introducing modern aviation technologies to improve training effectiveness, exchanging the experiences of professionals and improving teachers’ knowledge and skills regularly by collaborating with foreign university teachers and professional aviation instructors.




A key to the success of any training organization is the ability to provide quality knowledge, deliver student innovation to society, and develop creative thinking skills.

According to Prof. Shyamal Majumdar, Ph.D (UNESCO-UNEVOC):
“Since education is considered the key to effective development strategies, technical and vocational EDUCATION and TRAINING (TVET) must be the master key that can alleviate poverty, promote peace, conserve the environment, improve the quality of life for all and help achieve sustainable development.”

If knowledge and education are the key to development, it can be said that training is the door to a nation’s development. The Aviation Training Centre is using a developed, integrated system that assesses training quality based on information technology in order to structure a quality learning process. The Centre employs a step-by-step process for qualifying instructors’ professional skills, and improving teaching facilities. Instructors are the key people in the process. They must be provided with research opportunities, good working conditions and an environment that encourages them to enhance their knowledge.


Upgrading teachers professional qualifications



Mongolia has the long-term goal of expanding the Training Center as an internationally recognized University of Aviation that trains and educates the basic aviation professional. In this case, our first step to achieve this goal will be allowing us to deliver all of our courses using competency-based training methods and to expand our cooperation with leading foreign educational institutions and universities and to implement joint programmes and projects to become a Full Member organization in TRAINAIR PLUS Programme. Being the best training centre in the region remains our short-term goal.


The Aviation Training Centre of CAAM has been developing training programmes that meet the standards and requirements for international educational institutions and civil aviation training organizations. The Centre operates using competency-based training methods to deliver skilled and talented human resources who can ensure aviation safety and security. The fact that the number of graduates of the Aviation Training Center has increased year by year, indicates that we have been successful in implementing our mission of training skilled professionals with the right attitude, high potential and knowledge. This has contributed significantly to our performance in the workplace and to making civil aviation a major profession in the labour market.



Anarzul Dorligsuren received her Masters of Business Administration from Strayer University and is the Senior Officer of Training Policy and Planning of the Aviation Training Centre of the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia, and the Manager of the Course Development Unit.

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ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau: Celebrating 65 Years of Global Assistance

ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau (TCB) has been serving States, non-State entities, donors and the civil aviation industry for 65 years, providing practical assistance where required in the execution of national civil aviation plans developed with a view to implementing the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Ultimately, this assistance has been provided to meet “the needs of the peoples of the world for safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport” as stipulated in Article 44 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

In its capacity as the United Nations (UN) specialized agency for international civil aviation, ICAO joined the UN Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance (EPTA) in 1951 and subsequently cooperated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Executing Agency in the implementation of technical assistance projects. The main pillars of this assistance were training of national civil aviation personnel, recruitment of international experts to advise on the development of national civil aviation plans and procurement of equipment.

The funding for these projects came almost exclusively from the UNDP and some contributions from donors. For this reason, ICAO’s Technical Assistance Programme initially evolved in step with UNDP’s policies and procedures. Within ICAO, implementation of the Programme was entrusted entirely to what was then called the Technical Assistance Bureau.


Closing the Gap

Regardless of the field of engagement and in the interest of all concerned, the basic idea of this assistance has always been to close the technological and operational gap between industrialized countries and the developing world, to a point where such assistance is no longer required.

The majority of activities in the early days of technical assistance were concentrated on helping individual States. However, the 1970s saw a change in this approach: effective multilateral assistance by UN Agencies, bilateral assistance through donors and the increased capabilities of recipient States made it possible to concentrate on achieving the harmonization of these individual activities on a regional and global level.

TCB has always considered training as an indispensable basis for the optimal use of manpower and equipment, the main vehicle for this most important aspect was seen in the standardization of training for civil aviation staff. Therefore, TCB, still with exclusive financing by the UNDP, embarked on a programme of systematic development of some 25 regional civil aviation training centres (CATCs). Virtually all CATCs that form today’s well established network of aviation training facilities, stem from this period. A concomitant of this programme was the harmonization of training curricula to achieve comparable levels of competence among workforces in these regions.


Harmonizing Global Aviation Development

In parallel, the decade from 1970 to 1980 saw a sharp increase in UNDP funding to around USD80 million annually. The increase in the Programme implementation volume allowed for the use of the Bureau’s surplus funds from the projects’ administrative overhead to create guidelines for States, such as the Directory of Standardized Field Specifications with a description and average cost of the most common aviation equipment; the Technical Assistance Training Guidelines with close to fifty Course Outlines for a wide variety of Civil Aviation Training Courses, including ICAO Standardized Training Guidelines for the harmonization of aviation training courses globally; the ICAO Directory of Civil Aviation Training Institutes, which assisted States to select the training courses best suited for their staff at convenient training facilities; and the terms of reference for the preparation of Civil Aviation Master Plans, providing the reader with an understanding of the structure and contents of this important planning document for the comprehensive development of national civil aviation infrastructures. These activities, in addition to the continuing assistance to individual States, complemented TCB’s efforts towards the harmonization of more cost-effective global civil aviation development.



Funding Changes

Towards the end of the 1980s, UNDP shifted its focus almost exclusively to the financing of “grass-roots” projects, which virtually excluded the civil aviation sector. In fact, UNDP core funding of ICAO technical cooperation activities steadily decreased to a point where it represented less than three percent of the total Technical Assistance Programme. Due to this unexpected change in funding policy, the Technical Assistance Bureau incurred recurrent annual deficits for over a decade from 1983 totalling USD13.5 million. This necessitated the downsizing of staff and required ICAO to completely change its approach, offering its services on a cost recovery basis to its Member States, complemented to the extent possible, by voluntary contributions from donor States and the civil aviation industry.

This paradigm shift had no lasting negative effect on the Technical Assistance Programme. Over the many years working with the Technical Assistance Bureau, Governments had come to appreciate the numerous advantages of this cooperation. They saw ICAO as a neutral, objective, worldwide non-profit organization, which was able to achieve the intended project results. Furthermore, it offered civil aviation authorities that purchased equipment through ICAO certain privileges accorded by the United Nations system and the assurance of continued support even after the completion of a project.

As a result, since 1996 (with the exception of the years 2002 and 2007 to 2011), TCB has generated surpluses (with an average annual Programme implementation volume of USD130,000) over the last ten years.



A New Approach, a New Name

In the mid-90s, the Technical Assistance Bureau changed its name to the Technical Cooperation Bureau. This reflected the fact that ICAO embraced the new approach of the United Nations that shifted the emphasis from assisting States through the use of expatriate technical cooperation personnel (called “technical assistance”) to the nurturing of national professionals (labelled “technical cooperation”).

As part of the Technical Cooperation Programme’s activities and to further promote the overall aim of making States largely independent from outside assistance, TCB launched a new initiative that significantly contributed to the success of TCB’s cooperation with States: the creation of structures for cooperation and coordination aimed at strengthening the cooperation of States on a regional basis.

Under the guidance and active participation of the Technical Cooperation Bureau, regional groups were established such as the Cooperative Aviation Security Programme (CASP) and the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programmes (COSCAPs). Each of these groups is governed by a Steering Committee in which every Member is represented and ICAO actively participates. They each have their own work plan geared to the needs of the Members who fund their activities themselves with limited donor contributions.

The main objective of all of these groups is to ensure compliance with the international aviation conventions and related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and guidance material by enhancing selected civil aviation capabilities of the participating Member States and Member Administrations.



Cooperation among States

Today, cooperation with States continues in the traditional assistance areas of training, capacity-building and procurement, which has contributed to the significant increase in civil aviation development in the last decade. Assistance and cooperation virtually cover the whole spectrum of civil aviation disciplines and include, inter alia, the development of civil aviation master plans, airport studies, aeronautical studies, CNS/ATM implementation, aviation security, safety management systems and rectification of deficiencies identified through ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Programme (USOAP) and Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP).

In the training field, in addition to its popular Technical Cooperation Fellowship Programme, the Technical Cooperation Bureau initiated a Developing Countries Training Programme within the framework of the United Nations South-South Cooperation. TCB manages the fellowships provided free of charge or at minimal costs by the participating training institutes of developing countries.

Complementing the traditional regional initiatives mentioned earlier, TCB assists numerous other regional initiatives by groups of States for a wide variety of objectives, including the implementation of Regional Safety Oversight (RSO) systems and Performance-based Air Navigation (PBN); technological support for CNS digital networks; the transition to Global Navigation Satellite Systems; the monitoring of the air traffic control centres refurbishment and the development of sustainable capability in the instrument flight procedure domain on a regional basis; the establishment of Accident Investigation Agencies and International Safety Oversight Entities; assistance for Small Island Developing States regarding aerodrome certification and Safety Management Systems (SMS) and in the coordinated action in the aviation sector to control public health threats.

Furthermore, despite its focus on grass-roots projects, cooperation with UNDP also has continued in specific areas. One of the major achievements in this respect was the creation by TCB of the TRAINAIR Programme in the mid-1990s. It was modelled after TRAINMAR and CODEVTEL, two similar UN Agency programmes managed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) respectively. TRAINAIR was kick-started with funding from the UNDP Global Programme. It consists of a very comprehensive methodology for course development, packages of detailed course material and, most important for a cost-effective implementation of the overall programme, a sharing system for participating CATCs.


New Responsibilities for TCB

In 2007, the ICAO Secretary General, in coordination with the ICAO Council, decided that ICAO as a whole would shift its focus to implementation. Until that year, the Regular Programme was responsible for SARPs development. It was TCB’s role to assist in their implementation if and when requested by States. In this capacity, the Bureau carried out ICAO’s mandate as a United Nations Specialized Agency to provide assistance, for the benefit of the countries and in accordance with their own national policies and priorities for development, as well as advising States of their obligation as ICAO members to take into consideration the global ICAO Strategic Objectives when developing their civil aviation development plans.

This decision brought about a redistribution of responsibilities within ICAO as a whole. Technical assistance was funded by voluntary contributions or the Regular Budget while technical cooperation was funded by States and donors on a cost recovery basis. This new arrangement called for even closer cooperation between all Bureaus and Regional Offices of ICAO to continue providing optimal technical support to States. Recent developments show that ICAO is now in a better position to serve its Member States.

Regular surveys show consistently high customer satisfaction among TCB clients for its services. However, there is always room for improvement and the Bureau will continue to strive to perfect these services. 2015 ended with a strong Technical Cooperation Programme with an implementation volume of some USD125 million as the result of 115 ongoing projects in 140 States. The Bureau remains well equipped to continue its successful cooperation with ICAO Member States, non-State entities, the private sector and donors.



About the Author

Alessandra Arrojado Lisboa de Andrade is a lawyer with a Master’s Degree (LL.M) in Air and Space Law (McGill University). As Chief of the Business Support Section in the ICAO Technical Cooperation Bureau, she provides advice on issues mainly pertaining to the policy, planning and budgeting aspects of the Bureau.

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On Valentine’s Day: The things we love about aviation

As many around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re shifting the attention from the people who mean the world to you, to the things we love most about this industry.


Source: Bombardier


Beginning with safety, which always comes first. Regulators, airports, airlines, manufacturers, inspectors, auditors, security, engineers, mechanics, air traffic controllers, pilots, flight attendants…every spoke in the aviation wheel has safety as their first priority.



Aviation drives economies and creates jobs. 3.7 billion passengers flew on scheduled services in 2016, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous year. While over half of the world’s tourists who travelled across international borders flew to their destinations, air transport also carried 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, and according to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), there are nearly 63 million jobs worldwide that are supported in the aviation and related tourism and supply chain industries.



Connectivity is essential to social development. The value of air transport is measured by more than just job and wealth creation, it plays an important role in developing multicultural societies, in bringing together family and social networks, in facilitating international sporting and cultural activities. It allows for employment, research and education opportunities and enables residents of remote communities to participate in other societies.


Source: U.S. Marine Corps


It brings emergency response. During humanitarian emergencies, aviation’s speed and reliability plays an essential role in bringing assistance to regions facing disasters and famine. Airplanes bring search and rescue services, aid, food, water and medical supplies to regions that need support and assist with evacuating those who are stranded. Airports also play a role by becoming landing points for support, cargo and relief supplies and sometimes, refugee transfers.



Air transport plays an important role in making memories that last a lifetime. Because consumers can get on a plane and in half a day, be on the other side of the world, it gives options and opportunities to experience new cultures; plans and experiences that become some of the most treasured moments.



Aviation is making critical contributions to sustainability. Air transport drives economic, social and cultural development around the world, impacting how we travel, interact with others and do business, directly supporting 13 of the 17 Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Though aircraft manufacturers have taken great strides to develop more efficient and quieter aircraft, they, and other industry partners, are stepping up their efforts to address noise impacts and air quality around airports and aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions, baskets of measures that include operational and technological innovations.

A globally sustainable future? That is the best gift we can give those who mean the world to us.

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One Woman Soars as the world celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

My Future, Your Future, OUR Future.

STEM Education:  Living a Life Without Limits

UNICEF estimates that in 2015, approximately 75 million children were born in conflict zones. Imagine what those children could achieve if they would all be  exposed to education, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), in their lifetime. And then consider that 37.5 million of those born in 2015 in conflict zones were likely girls who, even if there were opportunities, would not be encouraged to pursue them.


My life began in a conflict zone. I was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan. Shortly after my birth, my parents were able to move from Afghanistan to the United States with their six daughters. Even though we lived in an underprivileged school district where substitute teachers and sharing textbooks with classmates were the norm, I knew I was living a very fortunate life.

English was my third language and reading was a real challenge for me. With no desire to pursue higher education, I believed my future consisted of finding a husband to support me, and raising children. I often found myself thinking about the young girls who never made it out of the refugee camps  and I wanted to reach out to them in some way. I desired a bigger role than what was expected of me (or I expected of myself), I wanted to participate in change. I quickly learned that before I could change the world, I had to educate myself and find my focus, a passion I found the day I was introduced to aviation.

Initially I was terrified of flying – the only exposure I had to aviation were the aircraft accidents I heard about on the news. I was 17 years old when I took my first trip in a commercial airplane and as soon as I landed, my perception quickly changed and I knew I wanted to become a pilot. After a lot of hard work, challenges and sacrifice, I became the first female civilian pilot from Afghanistan. Most importantly, I became the first person in my family to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

During my studies at Embry-Riddle, I founded the Women’s Ambassador Program — an initiative that seeks to mentor and support young women pursuing their education in aviation and engineering. From there, I sought to advance my efforts to a global scale. In 2014, I founded a non-profit organization called Dreams Soar. Dreams Soar allows me to share my story with girls and women around the world and let them know that it IS possible to achieve your dreams, regardless of the challenges and obstacles in the way.


My personal experiences have helped me understand why many women do not pursue STEM education and career fields. When I was introduced to aviation, I had several doubts about my career as pilot. I didn’t know of any successful women in the field of aviation, from Afghanistan or the Middle East, who could be role models. I also knew I could not afford the cost of flight training.

In school, I couldn’t relate to many classmates. A majority of them knew their career goals at a young age and had support along the way. I often felt alone as I desperately worked to convince anyone who would listen, that I was capable of being a successful pilot. While my passion for aviation challenged me mentally, it also illuminated my weaknesses in science and physics. Though every other day I felt like giving up, the idea of professionally operating an aircraft as a licensed pilot empowered me. Every time I fly, I realize the aircraft does not know my gender, my background, my social class, my religion, or my financial state and yet, it propels me forward. This gives me a sense of peace and confidence – it was that peace and confidence that lifted me to achieve far more than what I knew was possible.

Introducing and encouraging women to STEM education is a global need. In the United States, women make up 48 per cent of the workforce, yet only 24 per cent of women work in areas requiring STEM education. In the United Kingdom, only six per cent of registered engineers and technicians are women. And, on a global basis, only 28 per cent of the world’s researchers are women.

Turning to aviation, there are only 450 female captains in the world. Aside from these statistics, one can look at STEM education and careers within any country and instantly notice the lack of women in these fields.

It is our duty to help ensure that all women have the education and opportunity to investigate and pursue exciting careers available in STEM. More than half of the world’s population is female. Their success is the best influence for girls to believe that they too are capable of succeeding in these fields.



Being able to reach girls and women at a global level, is very important to me. I was raised in a household with five sisters. I come from a country where there is little or no gender equality and women have few rights, and that includes the right to an education equal to that of a man.

I am fortunate to have found my passion and purpose in life and I’m driven to paying it forward. This summer I will be embarking on a solo flight around the world to inspire the next generation of STEM and aviation professionals through my non-profit organization, Dreams Soar. We have partnered with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to host STEM-focused outreach events along the route. These outreach events will create opportunities for women to come together from nearby communities to share their knowledge and experiences in STEM to the children in their communities (along the route).



The children at these events will have the chance to see and learn about the aircraft, which hopefully will spur their curiosity in aviation. We hope they will be inspired and empowered to learn more about the importance of STEM education and all the new career opportunities it brings.

The Dreams Soar global flight will launch this summer in a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft. The trip will cover 25,000 miles to advance the next generation, specifically girls and young women, into STEM education. No mile is too long, flight leg too weary or stretch of land unworthy.


Dreams Soar Inc. is seeking to partner with strong female role models to share and promote the importance of STEM and aviation education along the 25,000 plus nautical mile route – in 18 different countries across five continents. There are opportunities at each of the 30 stops to break barriers and help encourage a child to eliminate any limitations that they may perceive for their future.

About the Contributor

Dreams Soar  has a 20-member Dream Team of graduate and undergraduate students working on this mission to partner with strong female role models at the 28 stops along the route where they can  share and promote the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. To find out how you can contribute, visit their site.

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Aircraft Safety: The Work of a Flight Test Engineer


Before being certified by Transport Canada, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operations in Canada, the United States and Europe, the CSeries went through an extensive flight test schedule, from 2013 to 2015. Thousands of employees worked around the clock to ensure the certification of this aircraft.

Flight Test Engineers played a significant role in the certifying the CS100 and CS300 aircraft. Follow one of Bombardier’s Flight Test Engineers and discover some of the behind the scene work that is essential to the certification of an aircraft in this video:



About the Contributor

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

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Welcome to ICAO ISAF's 2017 live blog on

*This blog is no longer live. Scroll down to see what you missed at ISAF2017.*

Posts will appear in chronological order with the oldest post appearing at the bottom of this page. Keep checking back for updates and highlights from the Symposium at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal, Canada. For questions or comments on this live blog, please email:

Download our Speakers' presentation slides here:


Thursday February 9, 2017 - 17:03

And that's all from the ICAO Seminar on Alternative Fuels!  Thank you for checking our live blog, we look forward to next year.

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 16:50

ICAO Environment Deputy Director Jane Hupe with a message to keep in mind as we move forward with our collective commitments to #AltFuels and the environment. #Inspired

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 15:57

Peter Vis was one of our speakers this afternoon. Sessions continue today until 17:00, but the work on #AltFuels & #Sustainability continues on...

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 15:38

The reception area is buzzing during our final coffee break. Inspired discussions fill the room. Thank you to the Centre for International Governance Innovation for sponsoring us this afternoon. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Thursday February 9, 2016 - 15:22

Peter Vis is showing the room some of the targets for the year 2020 in the evolution of the EU BioFuels Policy, including:

  • 10% target for Renewable Energy in Transport for each EU Member State
  • Sustainability criteria following Life-Cycle Analysis
  • Direct Land Use Change effects taken into accounts
  • Minimum 35% GHG saving, increading to minimum 50% GHG saving from 2017

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 15:00

Dr. Lourdes Maurice from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is presenting on the drive towards environmental protection that allows for sustained aviation growth. She says environment and energy goals include:

  • Air quality: reduce significant air quality impacts attributable to aviation
  • Climate: Reduce emissions that impact climate
  • Energy: Develop and deploy alternative aviation fuels

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 14:42

Jane Hupe, ICAO Environment Deputy Director, is now on stage presenting. She's speaking about the steps to be undertaken in the near future regarding Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA); Council will undertake a review of CORSIA every 3 years from 2022 with due consideration of the contribution of sustainable #AltFuels towards achieving ICAO's environmental objectives.

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 14:08

ICAO has introduced a popular and effective tool. Try out our Carbon Emissions Calculator. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 13:52

Don't forget to forget to follow ICAO on Facebook. Keep up to date with all of our upcoming events and industry developments.

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 13:22

Take a look at this cool video of Bombardier's test flight. Thank you for your involvement in ISAF2017. #AltFuels #Sustainability #Safety

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 12:52

We caught up with Olav Mosvold Larsen to get his take on the main challenges and successes in the #AltFuels industry, watch what he had to say below:


Thursday February 9, 2017 - 12:32

Charlotte Hardenbol from SkyNRG was one of our last speakers before  lunch. She spoke about ways to unlock the potential for aviation alternative fuels in the long-term; her presentation indicates that engaging stakeholders(governments, airlines, airports, individuals and corporates) in short-term projects is key.

So what can governments do to unlock the potential of sustainable alternative fuels? She highlighted the following:

  • Policy, which will create a level playing field for alternative fuels
  • Fly green, reduce the carbon footprint by flying on sustainable alternative fuels
  • Engage with airports to stimulate a scale-up of sustainable alternative fuels
  • Subsidize, offer funding in the form of grants and subsidies for short-term fuel uptake

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 12:15

The room clears out just in time for lunch. Keep checking in the next little while, we'll be posting a snippet interview with Olav Mosvold Larsen after the lunch break!

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 12:11

Mena Salib from Air Canada shared a neat tidbit in his presentation about Air Canada not only getting Canadian athletes to the Olympics, but doing so in a #sustainable manner too!


Thursday February 9, 2017 - 11:57

Melissa Hernandez from UNDP is detailing a pilot project to assist in identifying and implementing measures to reduce C02 emissions. The pilot project focuses on 2 airports in Jamaica (Normal Manley and Donald Sangster) and some proposed actions include:

  • The installation of solar panels
  • A converter to transform the solar energy into electricity
  • The acquisition of an electric Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) unit and an electric Ground Power Unit (GPU)


Thursday February 9, 2017 - 11:19

Be sure to check out our interactive kiosks if you are here with us at ICAO headquarters in Montréal. You can follow the ISAF2017 LIVE BLOG on your computer, tablet or mobile device. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 11:02

Thank you to all of our early morning speakers on the final day of presentations. Our coffee break is sponsored by Bombardier. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 10:50

Frederic Eychenne from Airbus is talking BioJet, presenting it as a key measure for reducing aviation-related C02 emissions in the long-term. The issues still lie in the availability and cost of BioJet, but now is the time to take action: create the conditions to scale-up the use of BioJet, propose solutions through strong partnerships, and launch and deliver projects.

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 10:25

Olav Larsen being interviewed for our live blog. Check back to hear him address the challenges and successes of #AltFuels & #Sustainability

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 10:01

Mike Lu (Brazilian Biojetfuel Platform) has the stage now, detailing some of the ways in which Brazil is meeting the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) challenge. Those include:

  • Reforestation with oil bearing species of Brazilian biodiversity
  • Regional highly integrated value chains
  • Food and energy
  • Innovative technology low end feedstock
  • Information technology.


Thursday February 9, 2017 - 9:40

María de la Rica Jiménez from Bioquereseno is presenting the Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation (ITAKA), a collaborative project that is focused on promoting and creating an efficient supply chain. That chain stretches from supply (biomass cultivation and conversion) right up to demand (airlines and standards).  Jiménez says ITAKA linked supply and demand by connective the full value-chain: feedstock grower, biofuel producer, distributor and airlines.

Thursday February 9, 2017 - 9:17

After a few opening remarks from ICAO Environment Deputy Director Jane Hupe , we are ready to start day 2 of #ISAF.  Nate Brown from Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) is the first speaker, he's presenting a few details on the Farm to Fly 2.0 (F2F2) Agreement.


Thursday February 9, 2917 - 8:48

Day 2 is about to begin, so keep checking back for live updates from the ICAO Seminar on Alternative Fuels. You can also follow our Twitter account at @ICAO.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 17:26

What an amazing DAY 1. Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors and most importantly our attendees. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 17:15

Post-symposium reading. IATA's Director General Alexandre de Juniac touches on CORSIA in his most recent interview with ICAO.

"The new global market-based measure, CORSIA, is not the only solution to aviation and the environment that we are pursuing. It is a part of a solution or package of measures that also involves improvements in technology, modern infrastructure and more efficient operations. Together with CORSIA, these are the elements of our four-pillar strategy to combat climate change."


Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 16:56

Michael B. Lakeman from Boeing is talking Industrial Ecology: a framework for designing sustainable industrial systems through analogy to natural ecological systems.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 16:32

Snapshots of Laurel Harmon from LanzaTech #AltFuels


Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 16:16

More presentations continue at the ICAO Seminar on #AltFuels, we're almost done for the day but the sessions along with the live blog will be continuing tomorrow as of 9:00AM.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 15:30

Time for another coffee break. Thank you to our sponsor NESTE!

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 15:07

Fokko Kroesen is elaborating on KLM's Climate Action Plan and their commitment to further reducing their impact on climate change. KLM's goal is to reduce their carbon footprint by 20% per passenger by 2020 (compared to 2011).

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 14:48

Watch a snippet of Henrik Erametsa's presentation on #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 14:33

Henrik Erametsa from Neste is outlining the preconditions for successful deployment of #AltFuels in his presentation, before delving into more detail about each one.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 13:54

Jim Hileman is about to take the stage to start Session 2. Here's a sneak peek at what he'll be talking about: how many gallons of alternative fuel were purchased in 2016. #Sustainability #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 13:03

Matthew Rudolf from SCS Global Services breaks down what a Certification Body actually is:

Independent verifiers for standards

 • Auditors placed around the world trained to audit to different standards

CBs are accredited to offer certain standards:

1) Internal control systems ensure audit quality

2) External accreditation/oversight ensures integrity across CBs

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 12:49

We caught up with Adam Klauber just before lunch to ask him an important question. Watch this video to see get some answers... #Sustainability #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 -  12:41

Daniel Strechay from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is presenting the organization's commitment to sustainability and contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 12:20

Norbert Schmitz from International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) speaking now. ISCC is a global sustainability certification scheme  with currently approx. 90 members. It is used in more than 100 countries for all types of agricultural, forestry and alternative raw materials and products including camelina, canola/rapeseed, cereal, corn, palm, shea, soy, sugarbeet, sugarcane, sunflower, waste & residues and wood.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 11:44

We're just a few moments away from the next session, as participants start to filter back in from the coffee break. #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 10:45

While you sip your coffee, take some time to watch Bombardier's video on leadership in eco-design as they share their Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and the C Series aircraft.

The EPD is a document that is based on verified life cycle assessment (LCA) data. It summarizes and communicates clear and comparable information about the environmental impact of a product at each phase of its life cycle.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 10:30

Thank you to all of our early morning speakers. Enjoy this coffee break sponsored by Bombardier. #AltFuels #Sustainability

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 10:15

Some key issues that are being addressed at the roundtable for #AltFuels:

  •  What is the role of airports in sustainable alternative fuels? To recognize and quantify sustainable jet fuel benefits that include air quality, climate stewardship and price volatility reductions.
  • The price on carbon, and the request for policies that reward fuels that reduce their carbon intensity.
  • It's not about the amount of biofuel currently available at airports, but about the joint commitment between airports and other aviation stakeholders to play a key role in the deployment of biofuels.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 10:02

Our first roundtable. #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 9:52

A small snippet of ICAO Environment Deputy Director Jane Hupe's opening remarks. #AltFuels

Wednesday February 8, 2017 -  9:42

ICAO Environment Deputy Director Jane Hupe is showing how 2016 was a historic year for aviation and climate change, in terms of surpassing benchmark number of Action Plans, global certifications for C02 standards for aircraft, and the landmark agreement on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).


Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 9:21

Opening remarks currently being given by  ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, Keynote Speaker Rachel Kyte, and ICAO Environment Deputy Director Jane Hupe as the seats fill up. #AltFuels


Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 8:31

Participants are starting to arrive and more people are registering, we're almost under way at the ICAO Seminar on Alternative Fuels. Keep checking this live blog for continuous updates!

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - 7:41

Be sure to follow @ICAO on twitter!


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An Interview with IATA’s Director General

As the seventh person to lead the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac had a tough act to follow in succeeding the passionate and outspoken Tony Tyler as Director General and CEO.

Mr. de Juniac brought his own lengthy set of credentials to the role: almost three decades of experience in the private and public sectors in senior positions in the airline and aerospace industries and the French government. He served as Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM (2013-2016) and Air France (2011-2013). He also served on the IATA Board of Governors since 2013 and spent 14 years at French aerospace, space, defence, security and transportation company Thales and its predecessor companies. He also held positions in the French government at the Conseil d’Etat, the department of Budget and in the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment as Chief of Staff to then-Minister Christine Lagarde.

ICAO Journal Editor Rick Adams interviewed Mr. de Juniac after he took on his new role at IATA, as part of a series of interviews with world aviation leaders.


What challenges have you found in your IATA role thus far, and what experiences in your background do you think prepared you for this position?

Over my career I have seen the industry from various perspectives. While at Thales the focus was on infrastructure and aircraft equipment manufacturing. When in government I viewed the industry from the perspective of public policy and economic issues. And then five years at Air France and Air France-KLM gave me a good grounding in how airlines operate and the challenges that they face. I also served on the IATA Board of Governors, so I was involved in industry issues. The job of leading IATA is truly unique. You see the whole industry from 40,000 feet – 265 airlines and the collective challenges that they face.

From that perspective, the importance of global standards really comes into focus. IATA’s job is to work with stakeholders to make it easier for airlines to provide the connectivity that the world needs. When we are working with our members to position the industry for future success, the focus is squarely on global standards – getting governments to adopt or conform to global standards. You know these things inherently when you work in the industry. But you get a very clear view of this at IATA – and at ICAO as well.

In taking on the leadership of IATA, you can expect some continuity and some change. My predecessor, Tony Tyler, saw the industry as a force for good in the world. I fully agree, but I have a different way of expressing the point. For me, we are in the business of freedom. Aviation makes our world a much better place. It gives people the means to better their lives. So I plan to strongly argue against proposals that would restrict the freedom to travel or to trade. It’s a worrying trend for air transport and, more broadly, for the world which grows stronger and more prosperous when we interact with others across borders.

I must also confess that I am not very patient. The pace of change in our world is accelerating. That’s a challenge for many governments – which move more slowly. And it’s a challenge for air transport. In 2016 we were driving a change to common XML electronic communication standards for cargo handling. It is something that most others did a decade ago!

Our strong track record on safety is, of course, not the result of winning a race. We can never lose our focus on what it takes to provide ever-safer air transport and take whatever time is needed to do so. But on pretty much everything else I think that we need to accelerate.

Now that the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was adopted at the ICAO Assembly, what are the next steps for IATA’s airline members with regard to monitoring, offsetting, and continuing to reduce carbon emissions? And what role might IATA play in convincing reluctant States to participate in the voluntary phase?

The new global market-based measure, CORSIA, is not the only solution to aviation and the environment that we are pursuing. It is a part of a solution or package of measures that also involves improvements in technology, modern infrastructure and more efficient operations. Together with CORSIA, these are the elements of our four-pillar strategy to combat climate change.

Over the next few years we will continue to work with ICAO on the technical side of CORSIA. This includes important things like the definition of carbon units and the kinds of credits that can be applied to CORSIA. We will also closely monitor the discussion among governments on how the system can fairly accommodate the special circumstances of fast-growing airlines or those that have already made significant investments to mitigate their climate change impact.

IATA will also be working with our member airlines to build the needed capacity for monitoring, reporting and verification. They have a bit of a head-start because airlines already report much of the needed data to IATA. And, while many of our members have experience in the carbon markets, the industry’s level of understanding is not uniform.

So there will be some capacity building in this area as well. As an industry, we want the broadest participation possible by governments in the voluntary phase. There is an impressive mix of developed and developing nations among them. When you have nations as diverse as the US, China, Zambia and the Marshall Islands agreeing to participate, you know that you are on solid ground. It is a pretty strong argument to encourage the participation of others – which I plan to do tirelessly.

Security continues to be a concern – inconsistent application of airport security procedures around the world, cybersecurity concerns, terrorism at airports such as Brussels, unruly passengers. What solutions would IATA like to see emphasized in the new ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan in development?

The issue of security is hovering over our industry. Terrorists are targeting aviation. That was clear from the terrible attacks at airports last year. And travel is impacted, even when aviation is not the specific target. But let’s also remember that terrorism has very few boundaries. We have seen attacks in community centres, shopping malls, office buildings, supermarkets, night clubs, public streets, bars, stadiums and so on. The threat of terrorism must be addressed as part of national security strategies under the leadership of governments supported by their national intelligence, policing and military capabilities. The new UN Resolution 2309 on aviation security signed in September is reinforcing that point.

It is also clear that keeping aviation secure needs the combined efforts of industry and government. We welcome ICAO’s commitment to lead the development of the ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) and IATA is committed to be a part of the process by contributing the industry perspective.

I would not want to pre-judge the GASeP development process by making very specific demands when we are at the beginning of the journey involving many partners with unique and legitimate perspectives on our common goal – keeping flying secure. But I hope that the GASeP can be an effective guide for governments to implement clear, simple, nimble, sustainable and smart regulation to manage and mitigate security threats. Security is a global challenge that must be met with the effective implementation of global standards. But it must avoid hard-wired prescriptions that are sure to be obsolete before the ink is dry if not constantly adjusted to the threat environment and appreciative to the security improvements already in place. This is the equivalent of a “performance-based” approach that will allow industry players and governments alike to effectively align and adjust their actions to achieve effective results rather than tick boxes.

How can we deliver that? Conceptually, I would like to see the principles of a risk-based approach at the core of GASeP. And the plan should be sufficiently flexible to effectively mitigate threats that emerge and evolve very quickly, minimize the impact of any successful attack and develop greater resilience capabilities. The GASeP also needs to enable greater speed than we currently are able to deliver. And I hope that there will be a great deal of emphasis on capacity building so that governments can have confidence in the security systems of their partners – in normal operations and in their ability to scale-up (or down) as threat levels change. Alongside that, it is also critical that information sharing is more effective than it is today – among governments and with industry. We must address what information is exchanged and the exchange mechanism or process.

Aircraft tracking has slipped off the front page for the moment, but there has been progress. How are some of IATA’s members implementing 15-minute and one-minute tracking systems?
Many airlines already track their aircraft through a variety of methods. The ICAO Council has adopted a normal aircraft tracking standard, making all operators responsible for tracking their aircraft throughout their area of operations. It has established a tracking time interval of 15 minutes required in oceanic airspace and recommended elsewhere. The Standard and associated SARPs will be applicable from November 2018. In a few years, new systems and technology, if adopted universally by air navigation service providers, will allow for global surveillance coverage. The adopted Standard takes this into account. I would say that it is happening as fast as could be hoped for in view of the challenges involved in developing a global Standard that will be acceptable to all the members of ICAO.



How are the world’s airlines faring currently? In what regions is there strength, and where are members still struggling?

We are headed for a record year in terms of industry profits. With airlines expected to show a combined global industry profit of nearly $40 billion this year, we are in record territory. And for only the second year in a row and the second in the history of aviation, the industry’s return on invested capital (9.8%) is exceeding the cost of capital (6.8%). On a net profit basis, we are looking at a 5% return. Mind you, we have to keep this in perspective: what is a record performance for the airline sector is the bare minimum of what is expected in other industries.

Airlines are in very different circumstances depending on where they are located. For example, about half of the industry’s profits are being generated in North America. Our colleagues in Europe have seen improvements, but they still suffer under the burdens of high taxes, inefficient and inadequate infrastructure and onerous regulation. Brazil is in crisis. The Asian carriers are the biggest players in cargo – so even if passenger demand is growing strongly, an important part of their business is suffering. Even the carriers in the Middle East have moderated their growth, reflecting the impact that lower oil is having on their region, as well as the weaker economies.  I am an optimist by nature – business people always see the next opportunity. There is still tremendous growth potential out there. But it is also a time for some prudent caution given the slowdown in world trade, weak economies and significant political risk.

What is your view on progress toward the next-generation ATM system, i.e. ADS-B, PBN, Next Gen, SESAR, etc.? Where is greater emphasis needed?

When I look at the growth projections for air traffic – a doubling in passenger demand by 2035 — I get concerned that we may be heading for an infrastructure crisis. In Europe, the Single European Sky initiative is failing because of a lack of will at the state level. Billions of euros are being spent on new technology, but without political pressure to reform, the inefficiency will not improve. In 2016 we did a study showing that the foregone benefits to the European economy resulting from this failure could exceed 245 billion euros in 2035.

In the United States, the NextGen air traffic management modernization is being delayed by a politicized budgeting process and special interests. This is preventing much-needed improvements agreed to by nearly all airlines and air traffic controllers. There are also challenges in the fast-growing regions as well, including the Gulf and China.

Of course, we also face huge challenges in terms of airport infrastructure. We have bottlenecks in many major markets such as New York, London, Bangkok and Mumbai. In 2016, the UK addressed their need for a third runway at Heathrow airport, and that is a positive development, but the cost of building it must be kept at a competitive level and its usefulness must not be crippled from the start by draconian operational restrictions.


A French citizen, Alexandre de Juniac is a graduate of both the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris and Ecole Nationale de l’Administration.  He took office at IATA on 1 September 2016, working  from both the association’s main offices in Montreal, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland. You can read some of Alexandre de Juniac’s thoughts on issues affecting the aviation industry here on his IATA blog.

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