International aviation experts will convene in
Montreal to discuss environmental protection, safety, security, and
the financial distress of the airline industry
On Sept. 26 and 27, McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law and the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] will co-host Air Transport: What Route to Sustainability?, an international conference that will bring together international experts from governments, specialized organisations, academia, law, finance, as well as the aviation industry.
They will address four fundamental themes of concern to the immediately ensuing ICAO General Assembly: the state of the industry; safety, security, and facilitation; environmental impact; and strategies for a prosperous future.
The conference will be held at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, 900 de la Gauchetière West, in Montreal – across the street from ICAO’s world headquarters. Both days will feature a luncheon address by a keynote speaker: Gary R. Scott, President of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, on Sunday, and Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada, on Monday.
The Programme Chair, Professor Dr. Paul Dempsey, Director of the co-host McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law states: “This event brings together world leaders in the aviation industry and government to address the important public policies surrounding financial, operational and environmental sustainability.”
Many will be interested in a special World Bank presentation of a study and discussion on “Open Skies for Africa – Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision,” at 8:00 a.m. on Monday. The World Bank study calls on African countries to put into practice commitments they have made to open their air service markets to foreign operators with liberalized tariffs, fair competition, and compliance with ICAO safety standards and practices.
The conference represents the third cooperative Conference between ICAO and McGill prior to an ICAO triennial General Assembly. ICAO’s Secretary-General, the Honourable Raymond Benjamin, endorses this Conference as a detached and preparatory forum for State delegates and stakeholders attending or interested in the issues facing the 37th session of the ICAO Assembly commencing September 28th. The ICAO Assembly will establish the policy framework and objectives for ICAO and global civil aviation for the next three years.
The conference is supported and promoted by a number of Associates including: the International Air Transport Association [IATA], Airports Council International [ACI], the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation [CANSO], the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association [IFALPA], and the World Bank.
THE REVENUE CRISIS: WHEN WILL THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY RECOVER?
How has the financial crisis impacted airlines and other industry stakeholders? What are the recovery strategies? Does liberalization improve or worsen the financial condition of airlines? How do alliances and antitrust immunity enhance revenue, reduce costs, and affect consumer welfare? What is the impact on the industry of volcanic ash? Where will the industry be in five years?
THE COST CRISIS: HOW WILL THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY RECOVER?
How can we reform airline taxes, fees and charges? What impact does financial ill-health have on aviation safety? How can legacy carriers address labour, benefit, and work rule costs? Can airport and air navigation fees and charges be harnessed? How can operational efficiency reduce airline costs?
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT: TECHNOLOGICAL & OPERATIONAL SOLUTIONS
What are the design and engineering challenges for airframe & engine manufacturers in terms of noise and emissions? How do operational restrictions impact efficiency, fuel burn, and carbon emissions? How will the depletion of oil reserves impact airline costs? Which alternative fuels offer the best alternatives to kerosene?
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT: LEGAL & POLICY SOLUTIONS
Are market-based measures the alternative to CO2 emissions? Is the EU Emissions Trading Scheme consistent with international law? Is a global sectoral approach realistically achievable or are equivalent measures the way forward? What is ICAO’s framework on market-based measures, and what is its plan of action on climate change? What are the environmental challenges facing ICAO’s 37th Assembly?
AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY: SCREENING, MORE SCREENING & SCREAMING
What are the new and emerging threats to civil aviation? Will enhanced security procedures further dampen passenger demand, and thereby threaten airline financial viability? What updates are needed to the Tokyo, Hague and Montreal Conventions to address terrorism? What have the ICAO security audits revealed? How are the aviation insurance markets coping with terrorist risks?
AVIATION SECURITY: WHAT ABOUT FACILITATION?
Does harassment, delay, and inconvenience of the traveling public dampen demand for air transportation? What impact will Machine Readable Travel Documents [MRTDs] have on security and facilitation? What is the future of registered or trusted traveler programmes? What are the cultural and privacy issues surrounding full body scanning? Are health concerns regarding security technology justified?
STRATEGIES FOR IMMEDIATE SURVIVAL & EVENTUAL PROSPERITY
What are appropriate airline, airport, ANS and manufacturer strategies in responding to the identified challenges? Should we pursue sectoral or geographic approaches to environmental protection? The work of the UNFCCC and GIACC - What does the future hold? Does liberalization of air transport regulation enhance or jeopardize industry economic health? What are the rights of the passenger against excessive taxes? Can we design a security system and culture that is both effective and efficient?
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION OF THE EXPERTS: THE WAY FORWARD
Full programme available at: http://www.icao.int/ICAO-McGill2010/Icao-McGill_Programme.pdf