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Aviation helps regional growth take off

Update: September, 08/2012 - 10:31

HCM CITY — The aviation industry, which has played an important role in economic development in the Asia Pacific region, will continue to do so but faces challenges, a senior international aviation official said at the South East Asia Airport Expansion Summit 2012 in HCM City yesterday.

"Significant investments are needed to meet the projected growth in demand, including fleet expansion using newer, more fuel efficient aircraft, more necessary aviation infrastructure with modern airports and air traffic management systems," Vinoop Goel, assistant director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s Member & Government Relations said.

"Around $700 billion has been invested in the industry in the last 20 years but air travel at some airports is still "a mess," he added.

He urged all IATA members to enhance the passenger experience by offering them the ability to self boarding, self bag drop, and track bag location from mobile devices.

"Security systems should be upgraded as security checkpoints have slowed to a throughput of just 149 passengers per hour (compared with 350 prior to September 11, 2001)."

But he reminded the principles for airport investment: long-term view, optimising capital expenditure, focus on cost-efficiency, and consultations.

He gave out several key numbers for the aviation industry: "Economic footprint is estimated at US$2.2 trillion, or equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the world GDP.

"The industry generates a total of 56.6 million jobs globally with direct employment of over 8.4 million."

In 2010 the Asia Pacific accounted for 34 per cent of global traffic share with 780 million passengers. It had 1,207 commercial airports and 359 airlines, providing 24.1 million jobs and adding $470 billion to GDP.

This region is estimatedly increasing traffic by 3.9 per cent for and capacity by 3.3 per cent this year.

Around 600 airplanes were sold to the region this year out of a global total of 1,560.

By 2030 the regional industry hopes to triple the passenger number to over 2.2 billion and increase the cargo volume by 6.3 per cent per annum. — VNS

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