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AASA's priority issues include the following:
- The entire review of South African Aviation Policy.
- Representing Airline Members in the negotiations and implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.
- Negotiations completed on behalf of Airline Members for the Aviation Charter of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Policy with the South African Department of Transport.
- Financial issues, such as the negotiation of tariffs with regulators and monopoly service providers, in respect of:
- The South African government does not deal with the airline industry directly, only through AASA, for example it discusses policies with AASA before they are changed, so that decisions do not have to be reversed.
- Operational issues at airports which are brought to the attention of AASA to address on behalf of its Airline Members.
- Supporting initiatives that combat the illegal trafficking of men, women and children.
- Supporting gender diversity and inclusion initiatives in the southern African aviation industry.
- Supporting skills development, training and aviation NGO initiatives in the southern African aviation industry.
- Supporting initiatives that combat the illegal trade of wildlife.
- Environmental issues, such as:
- Future trends and innovation promoting green aviation;
- Climate solutions to address climate change;
- Aircraft engine efficiency and alternative energy, biofuels and renewable fuel sources;
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: reduction of aircraft engine emissions;
- Reduction in aircraft noise; and
- CO2 offsetting and reduction for local air quality: addressing the emissions from aircraft and activities at airports and its effects on local communities.
L Open Skies for Africa:
the Yamoussoukro Decision
Africa is home to 12% of the world’s people, but it accounts for less than 1% of the global air service market. Part of the reason for Africa’s under-served status, according to a World Bank study: Open Skies for Africa – Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision by Charles E. Schlumberger, is that many African countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers. This practice originated in the early 1960s when newly-independent African states created national airlines, in part, to assert their status as nations.
The Yamoussoukro Decision, adopted in 1999, named for the Ivorian city in which it was agreed, commits its 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air markets open to transnational competition. In 2000, the Decision was endorsed by head of states and governments at the Organisation of African Unity*, and became fully binding in 2002.
* Now the African Union (AU). Extract/Source: Schlumberger, Charles E. 2010. Open skies for Africa: implementing the Yamoussoukro decision.
L Single African Air Transport Market
The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda. The AU Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
L Climate Change:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The aviation industry produces approximately 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), according to the United Nations Intergovernmetal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The airline industry acknowledges that it must play its part in combating climate change by reducing GHGE.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a set of targets which have been accepted by airlines worldwide, namely:
- To reduce GHGE by 1.5% per annum from 2010 to 2020;
- Carbon neutral growth from 2020; and
- To reduce GHGE by 50% by 2050 based on 2005 levels.
The airline industry, under the leadership of IATA, supported the development of a global solution by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its Environmental Protection initiatives.
At the 2013 ICAO Assembly, agreement was reached to develop a framework for a globally accepted Market Based Measures (MBM) solution. AASA supports this position and, together with IATA, works with other regional associations to achieve the initiative's objectives.
Different jurisdictions implement regional solutions, for example, the European Union (EU) has implemented the Emission Trading System (EU ETS), a cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The EU ETS is the world's first and largest major carbon market, and works on the 'cap and trade' principle.
In respect of Southern African regional focus, AASA has convened an Environmental Committee consisting of Member Airlines, Associate Members, public and government stakeholders to develop awareness of global initiatives, and prepare the industry for implementation of GHGE solutions in the respective states and aviation organisations.
AASA continues to be involved in regional initiatives being discussed for implementation in respective States with domestic aviation issues the priority focus.
AASA opposes the introduction of carbon taxes for domestic aviation as its position is that for consistency and better control, international and domestic aviation should be regulated by the same measures.
It is also AASA’s view that any revenue derived from such solutions must be reinvested in the environmental programme, and this is not guaranteed through a carbon tax solution where such revenue will find its way into the general fiscus.
L AASA Gender Pledge
One of AASA's priority issues is the support of gender diversity and inclusion initiatives in the southern African aviation industry.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) was adopted in 2015 at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The Agenda raised 17 Goals for People, for Planet. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the SDA are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.
ICAO and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) hosted the inaugural Global Aviation Gender Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, from 8 to 10 August 2019, to mobilise the global aviation community to accelerate gender equality in aviation.
On 19 August 2019, the South African Minister of Transport and AASA's CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, signed an Aviation Gender Pledge, to support the SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls goals.