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DateLine Wednesday, 04 April 2007

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IATA calls Asia to participate in environment debate

REQUEST: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on Asia to participate strongly in the environment debate. "The UN attributes 2% of global carbon emissions to aviation and we are working hard to limit that figure.

The industry has a good story to tell on technical achievements-fuel efficiency improved 70% in the last four decades. And we have a strong message for governments-get on board with efficiency. The UN estimates that there is 12% efficiency to be gained from better air traffic management," IATA's Director General and CEO, said Giovanni Bisignani.

"Governments are far too quick to impose taxes-such as the doubling of the UK air passenger duty that puts GBP 1 billion into government coffers. But they are slow to implement air traffic management solutions that will improve environmental performance.

The list of potential improvements spans the globe-from Europe's failure to implement a single sky to an inefficient approach to Hong Kong that can waste up to 25 minutes of fuel. If governments are serious about the environment, this must change. We must send this message loudly and clearly in Asia and around the world," said Bisignani.

Bisignani was speaking in Hong Kong at the Greener Skies Conference organised by Orient Aviation, where he highlighted the four pillars of IATA's environment policy.

Bisignani also said Asia's efforts in reducing emissions. The average age of Asia's fleet is 10 years compared to the global average of 12, making Asia's fleet more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Australia also employs flexible tracks to allow aircraft to take advantage of the best flying conditions and reduce each flight time to Asia by an average of 2 to 3 minutes.

"Asia is a major player in the industry. Now is the time to shout politely to communicate our story in Asia - to ensure that governments and the public understand the good things we are doing, and to implicate governments in the solutions.

This will be Asia's best insurance against the same sort of crisis faced in Europe," said Bisignani.

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