IATA WCS: German government urged to improve air transport competitiveness

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the German government to focus on improving the competitiveness of the German air transport sector in the development of its national aviation policy.

Speaking at IATA’s World Cargo Symposium today in Berlin, the association’s direct general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler says: “Aviation supports the German economy by underpinning 1.12 million jobs and 77 billion euros in GDP. But these benefits are under pressure because of onerous taxes, airport infrastructure challenges and the overall inefficiency of European air traffic management.

“The development of a national aviation policy is an opportunity to address these issues. Doing so will boost Germany’s economic competitiveness by strengthening the foundations on which aviation provides crucial connectivity.”

To build an even stronger base for airlines to link Germany competitively with global markets, government policies must eliminate burdensome taxation, ensure cost-efficient airport infrastructure to meet demand and enable access to reformed and modernized air traffic management systems. Specifically IATA called for the German government abolish the one billion euro German departure tax, impose no further night flight restrictions at German airports.

He also addressed uncertainties over the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport and explains: “After years of delay and cost overruns, full operations at Berlin Brandenburg Airport are not expected to commence before the end of 2017 or even in 2018. To plan their businesses, airlines need clarity on the opening date and the costs that they will be expected to pay.”

Berlin Brandenburg CEO, Karsten Muhlenfeld (pictured) earlier addressed delegates at WCS where he says the airport will be fully operational by the second half of 2017.

He explains though cargo has been operating there since 2013 with FedEx and UPS and there is capacity for 100,000 tonnes, but the capacity will need to be expanded.

IATA also called for Germany to take leadership in the modernisation of European air traffic management: “Sorting out European air traffic management holds a big prize for the German economy. Real value will be created for both business and consumers by leading European reforms in Germany’s aviation strategy,” explains Tyler.