Representatives of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations presented the case for general aviation and aerial work operators (GA/AW) at the International Civil Aviation Organization Conference on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services (ANS Conf2000) in Montreal, June 19-28, 2000.
The conference, attended by 600 delegates from 113 nations, worked to devise guidance for ICAO members in charging for services essential to aviation functions around the world. The last time delegates had met to consider these issues was 1995.
In addition to its formal presentations, IAOPA was one of 15 exhibitors at the conference, providing GA/AW information to delegates. Since many of the delegates were economists and accountants, their knowledge of general aviation was minimal.
The IAOPA exhibit booth featured the presentation of a short custom-made video (directed and produced by IAOPA President Phil Boyer) describing the value of GA/AW to the people of the world. Brochures describing both general aviation and IAOPA activities were distributed to more than 200 delegates.
IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan, IAOPA ICAO Representative Bill Peppler, Rakesh Bhandari (AOPA India), and Kevin Psutka (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) personally made the case for GA/AW during the three exhibit days.
The emergence of commercialized and privatized air navigation services and airports was a prime focus for conferees. Governments around the world are experimenting with the idea that both airport and air traffic services may be delivered more profitably and efficiently if a third-party provider manages or delivers these services.
"IAOPA reminded delegates that general aviation and aerial work are an integral and essential part of the world air transportation system," said Sheehan. "Any discussion of services must include their input."
Sheehan noted that it is particularly important that GA/AW operators be part of any negotiations between service provider and users.
IAOPA told conference delegates that profit and efficiency alone must NOT be the primary goals when commercializing airport and air navigation services. Safety and equitable access to those systems must be considered principal goals for any service provider.
Finally, delegates were reminded that general aviation and aerial work normally use the excess capacity of airport and air navigation services. Because of this, special charging and access mechanisms should be devised to accommodate their needs.
IAOPA represents the interests of more than 400,000 pilots and aircraft operators who are members of 53 national affiliates around the world. The principal objectives of the association are to promote and protect the interests of general aviation and aerial work operators engaged in international aviation.
July 17, 2000