This month President Tim Robinson, IFALPA Director Matt Birchall, and Technical Officer David Reynolds had the privilege of attending the semi-annual meeting of the IFALPA Asia – Pacific Region in Sydney.
As many of you are aware since 2012 the Asia – Pacific Region has become the world’s largest air passenger market and its relative growth, both in terms of passenger traffic demand, capacity and aircraft orders continues to be near the forefront of the industry, currently second only to the Middle East and Arabian Gulf. China and India lead that growth in our region and we only have to look at the number of new airline aircraft tails at our major New Zealand airports to see this growth first hand.
It is therefore very important that NZALPA is represented in this forum and that we learn from the experiences of our colleagues plus stay abreast of the current issues in our region.
An updated briefing was delivered on the draft global Multi-Lateral Air Services agreement and workings of the ICAO Air Transport Regulatory Panel Working Groups. This agreement has the potential to markedly liberalise the global air transport market and allow airline carriers to bypass the normal regulations and restrictions that appear in the older, more established bi-lateral aviation agreements. IFALPA is advocating strongly for the inclusion of working that recognises labour as a stakeholder in the agreement as well providing for an arbitrated dispute resolution process if labour standards or entitlements are lowered or ignored by any states or designated airlines that are party to the agreement. We are also lobbying to have some recognition of an airlines ownership and control within the state that designates it, so as to avoid the ‘flags of convenience’ and ‘labour shopping’ that we have seen almost destroy the shipping industry.
Alongside this there are a number of Technical and Safety issues that remain the centre of our focus. Unsurprisingly these include RPAS, Laser strike legislation and enforcement, airport safety (including runway incursion and excursion) and Fatigue Risk management. IFALPA is well placed to be a well-respected and integral member in the development of better protections in these areas of aviation safety. Our IFALPA representative at ICAO - Captain Mike Davidson works alongside the IFALPA staff to ensure the good work completed in the specialist IFALPA technical and safety committees is reflected in the ICAO Annex Standards and Recommendations that then apply to all state signatories. The Asia – Pacific Region is well represented on these IFALPA committees and many delegates at this month’s meeting are at the forefront of the technical work being carried out.