Unless aviation is united on a vision for a sustainable future, governments will limit its license to grow.

This is the view of IATA’s director general and CEO, Tony Tyler who was speaking during the 47th annual AFRAA General Assembly in Brazzaville.

“We will also likely see a global patchwork of taxes and charges, further hindering air connectivity,” he added. “Importantly, the industry is committed to a strategy and targets for carbon emissions. In particular, our goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 is of utmost priority.

“Airlines are making great strides with the adoption of new aircraft, more efficient operations, and better use of infrastructure. It is the adoption of a global market-based mechanism (MBM), however, that will be the most important piece in the jigsaw. A global MBM can only be agreed by governments, working at ICAO.

“We are in a crucial period ahead of next year’s Triennial Assembly, where a proposal for a global MBM to be implemented by 2020 must be agreed. African states have a lot of influence on the outcome of the Assembly, and I urge everyone in this room to ask your governments to commit to a workable solution. As part of this process, IATA is conducting a series of workshops for airlines. We have already held two in Africa, in Johannesburg and Casablanca, and more are planned next year. We strongly encourage AFRAA members to attend these.

“Aviation also has a bearing on the sustainability of the natural world around us. The illegal trade in endangered animals and plants trafficked by air is increasing. IATA is working with CITES, the UN body responsible for the safe transit of wildlife, to put an end to this trade. Airline staff are on the front line, so training and awareness is crucial.

“In August, we held a workshop in Kenya with the support of Kenya Airways, and more are planned. I ask you all to get involved. Africa is home to many of the world’s most endangered animals, and tourism to see these wonders is a vital source of income. It is my hope that together we can play our part in ensuring this exceptional biological inheritance is not lost,” he said.