IATA Projects One Million Jobs, Eur245B Boost In 2035
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a study projecting one million jobs and Eur245 billion boosts to European prosperity in 2035 from airspace modernisation.
Europe is well-served by air connectivity, which today supports 11.7 million European jobs and $860 billion of European Gross Domestic Product(GDP)but it is inefficient.
Average flights are nearly 50 kilometres longer than they need to be in terms of distance traveled and delays average around 10 minutes per flight. This inefficiency negatively impacts prosperity, productivity and sustainability.
An IATA-commissioned study by SEO Economic Research estimated that these inefficiencies, if unchecked, will grow to cost the European economy Eur 245 billion in 2035.
According to IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Tyler, “Air Traffic Management (ATM) inefficiency is not just a burden for airlines. Travelers suffer wasted time from delays. The environment suffers from avoidable emissions. And businesses face reduced productivity. Combined, all of this has a cost on Europe’s competitiveness. And the cost is shared broadly. This study shows that every European individual or business has a stake in this issue,”
Europe has long had a plan to improve its Air Traffic Management (ATM); the Single European Sky (SES) project, which aims to deliver a threefold increase in capacity, improve safety by a factor of 10, reduce environmental impact by 10 per cent , and cut costs by 50 per cent .
“Europe has failed in achieving the SES goals. Despite a strong European Commission vision and push for SES, national interests have prevailed. The incentive to improve efficiency is to make Europe more prosperous with the realization of Eur 245 billion and one million jobs in 2035. The launch of this study is a call to action across the spectrum of business and individual interests in Europe to help deliver a stronger, more connected economy” said Tyler.
A fully modernised and reformed airspace in 2035 compared to a “do nothing” scenario in which the status quo prevails will generate tangible benefits to European tourism, trade and the knowledge economy.
The study listed examples of incremental and indicative improvements include: 1.3 per cent more hotel beds to aid the tourism industry, up to 2.2 per cent faster expansion of trade in services, 5.5 per cent more patent applications and 4.7 per cent greater research spend and 1.3 per cent more employment in knowledge-intensive industries.
“Predicting the future is always fraught with uncertainty. But the starting point already shows a clear gap. The US has one provider to manage its airspace and Europe has 38 providers to manage a similarly complex air transport sector. And if nothing is done, the problem will only get worse,” said Tyler.
IATA stated that the release of the study marks the launch of a Europe-wide campaign and that it would call on consumer groups and business associations to recognise the broad importance of efficient air connectivity to the economy, productivity and quality of life at the national level.
According to Tyler, “Quantifying the value of what we are aiming for in jobs and GDP should be a great motivator in aligning national policies and action with a vision for an efficiently-connected and competitive Europe. EUR 245 billion is a worthy goal”.