Cape Town - Executives from Southern African airlines, governments, regulatory authorities and industry partners are meeting in Swakopmund to discuss the ramifications of a newly-approved global carbon offset mechanism for international aviation, which is to be implemented worldwide.
The discussion, one of several on the “Airlines in Uncertain times” agenda of the 2016 annual general assembly of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (Aasa) follows the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation’s resolution earlier this month that the market-based Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia), which will be progressively adopted by all of its signatory states, which includes African nations.
Aasa represents airlines in the Southern African and Indian Ocean islands on matters of common interest. It works with organisations, policy makers, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders from across the air transport spectrum to promote safe, efficient, reliable, sustainable and competitive air transport services in the region.
“Corsia is intended as an equitable, fair and multi-lateral mechanism to replace any national or regional so-called 'green' taxes imposed on air transport, such as the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme and South Africa’s mooted Carbon Tax,” explained Aasa CEO Chris Zweigenthal.
“With demand for air travel to, from and within Africa set to double over the next twenty years, we will see a combination of more flights and bigger aircraft operating in the continent’s skies. Aasa and its members support the adoption of Corsia, which - alongside modern, environmentally-friendly aircraft and engines and efficient airspace management - will play a significant role in enabling the air transport industry to achieve its goals of carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and halving our 2005 CO2 emissions by 2050."
Cooperation in enhancing aviation safety in Africa, establishing appropriate infrastructure and providing effective security against terrorism, cyber-attacks and other threats, are among other matters of common interest to be covered at the two-day gathering.
“These things, together with consistent enabling government policies, are essential for sustainable air transport and with it, economic growth across the region. Without them, our bigger regional ambitions such as the creation of a single African air transport market open to all African carriers, become moot,” said Zweigenthal.