GENEVA – The air transport industry plays an important role in supporting the growth of economies across Asia-Pacific, according to a new study released today by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) at its Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. The report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders outlines how air transport supports 24.2 million jobs and $516 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in Asia-Pacific.
Often overlooked when discussing aviation are the benefits that the industry has ‘beyond the airport’. This includes supporting millions of jobs in the wider economy; enabling business trips, the travel of friends and relatives, tourism and the rapid delivery of cargo – including high-value, high-tech components.
Of the 24 million jobs across the region, 1.8 million are within the industry itself and the rest are supported as part of the industry’s supply chain and the significant role air transport plays in the tourism sector.
ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, says that the report also outlines the worldwide impact of the industry, “Looking at the global benefits of aviation, our report identifies that the air transport industry supports over 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in GDP worldwide. At the current rate of growth, we expect aviation to support over 100 million jobs and $5.8 trillion in GDP around the world within two decades.”
ATAG has established a web resource to outline some of these benefits: www.aviationbenefits.org.
Commenting on the report, Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), said, “Aviation is a key driver of economic and social development, particularly here in Asia. This report highlights the fact that the Asia-Pacific region, with close to one billion passengers flying annually, now accounts for 32% of passenger traffic worldwide.
“Looking ahead, timely investments in associated infrastructure will be needed to match the continued growth in travel and tourism demand. This will further boost income growth and job creation, as well as strengthen regional integration and global connectivity.”
Patti Chau, regional director for Airports Council International Asia-Pacific, said: “The air transport industry is one of the most efficient sectors measured in terms of GDP per worker. At nearly $70,000 per worker per year, this is around three and a half times the average across the world economy as a whole and exceeds most other sectors of the economy. This means that air transport employees individually make a greater contribution to the global economy. Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region which will ultimately translate into the creation of more permanent new jobs in the local economy.”
Hai Eng Chiang, director Asia-Pacific affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), said: “Governments need to ensure that rising air traffic demand in the world’s largest aviation market is made possible by safe, efficient and cost-effective air traffic management (ATM).
“While air navigation service providers have begun working closely together to achieve seamless airspace across the region more needs to be done. CANSO, as the global voice of ATM, has made good progress by promoting best practices in safety management and fostering cross-border collaboration. Together with our industry partners we are working to improve ATM performance in communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic flow management.”