KUALA LUMPUR: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the Malaysian government to consider reducing the cost burden on airlines operating in the country, specifically, by withdrawing the landing and parking charge increases planned for 2013 and 2014.
Its Director General and Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said given the anticipated traffic growth projections for 2012, as well as increases in charges last year, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is still expected to be profitable.
"The planned restructuring of air traffic control services should not lead to drastic and sudden increases in costs to airlines," he said during a media roundtable at the World Cargo Symposium here today.
Any funding for the Advanced Passenger Information System at Malaysia's airports, he added, should be from the national budget and not be imposed on the industry.
"Though the increases in airport charges announced in 2011 may have a negative impact on the industry, we appreciate the two-year delay in implementation, although approved in 2009, in view of the weak economic situation then," Tyler said.
He said Malaysia has been successful in the aviation industry, because it is competitive compared to rivals around the region. "We are also in talks with other airport operators around the world on issues pertaining to airport charges," he added.
Meanwhile, Tyler emphasised the importance of sustainable biofuels in the aviation industry.
He said Malaysia had a robust biofuel industry based on palm oil.
"I encourage the government to consider policy measures that de-risk the investment needed for the scaling up of commercial aviation biofuels projects based on sustainable sources, such as urban waste, algae, jatropha and camelina," he added.
On the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), Tyler said a declaration was issued, urging a global solution through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and outlining possible actions if Europe continues on its unilateral and extra territorial path.
"Nobody wants a trade war. That is why we are focused on the ICAO, where governments meet to deliver global solutions for the air transport industry. "Malaysia was among 24 nations that met in Moscow recently to discuss counter measures," he added.
He said Europe's approach to including international aviation in its ETS from the start of this year, is driving discord at a time when there is a need for harmony.
"Non-European states see the intention to tax non-EU airlines for emissions over non-EU territory as an attack on their sovereignty," Tyler said. - BERNAMA
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