Understanding Aviation Industry

Chapter : International Aviation Organizations

IATA:  Since airlines face a rapidly changing world, they must cooperate in order to offer a seamless service of the highest possible standard to passengers and cargo shippers. IATA brings together approximately 270 airlines, including the world's largest. Flights by these airlines comprise more than 98 percent of all international scheduled air traffic.  Continual efforts by IATA ensure that people, freight and mail can move around the vast global airline network as easily as if they were on a single airline in a single country. In addition, IATA helps to ensure that Members' aircraft can operate safely, securely, efficiently and economically under clearly defined and understood rules.

For consumers, IATA simplifies the travel and shipping process. By helping to control airline costs, IATA contributes to cheaper tickets and shipping costs. Thanks to airline cooperation through IATA, individual passengers can make one telephone call to reserve a ticket, pay in one currency and then use the ticket on several airlines in several countries – or even return it for a cash refund.

IATA is also a collective link between third parties and the airlines. Passenger and cargo agents are able to make representations to the industry through IATA and derive the benefit of neutrally applied agency service standards and levels of professional skill. Equipment manufacturers and third-party service providers are able to join in the airline meetings which define the way air transport goes about its business.

IATA allows airlines to operate more efficiently. It offers joint means – beyond the resources of any single company – of exploiting opportunities, reducing costs and solving problems. Airlines knit their individual networks into a world-wide system through IATA, despite differences in language, currencies, laws and national customs.

IATA is a useful means for governments to work with airlines and draw on their experience and expertise. Working standards within the aviation industry are developed within IATA. In fostering safe and efficient air transport, IATA serves the stated policies of most of the world's governments.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):

Standardization: One of ICAO's chief activities is standardization, the establishment of International Standards, Recommended Practices and Procedures covering the technical fields of aviation: licensing of personnel, rules of the air, aeronautical meteorology, aeronautical charts, units of measurement, operation of aircraft, nationality and registration marks, airworthiness, aeronautical telecommunications, air traffic services, search and rescue, aircraft accident investigation, aerodromes, aeronautical information services, aircraft noise and engine missions, security and the safe transport of dangerous goods. After a Standard is adopted it is put into effect by each ICAO Contracting State in its own territories. As aviation technology continues to develop rapidly, the Standards are kept under constant review and amended as necessary.

Regional Planning: Not all aviation problems can be dealt with on a world-wide scale and many subjects are considered on a regional basis. ICAO, therefore, recognizes nine geographical regions which must be treated individually for planning the provision of air navigation facilities and services required on the ground by aircraft flying in these regions.

In each of the regions, keeping in mind the objective of producing a seamless global air traffic management system, careful planning is necessary to produce the network of air navigation facilities and services upon which, the aeroplanes depend the aerodromes, the meteorological and communications stations, the navigation aids, the air traffic control units, the search and rescue bases the thousands of facilities to be established and operated and the services to be rendered. When States require assistance in this regard, help is available through ICAO's seven regional offices each one accredited to a group of Contracting States. These offices have, as their main function, the duty of encouraging, assisting, expediting and following up the implementation of the Air Navigation Plans and maintaining them up to date.

As financial and technical resources vary widely between nations, and as air transport's demands involve some complex and costly equipment and well-qualified personnel for staffing and maintaining the facilities, there may be uneven implementation of parts of the Air Navigation Plans.

Facilitation: The obstacles placed by customs, immigration, public health and other formalities on the free and unimpeded passage of passengers and cargo across international boundaries have been a particularly serious impediment to air travel. The problem is inherent in the speed of air travel itself; if, for example, formalities at each end of a trans-oceanic flight of six hours take up one hour, this means that the passenger's trip time has been increased by one third, while the same formalities add only about two per cent to a five-day sea voyage across the same ocean. For the past two decades ICAO has tried to persuade its Contracting States to reduce red tape, and International Standards on facilitation have been adopted to place an upper limit on what States may demand. In addition to reducing procedural formalities, ICAO's efforts are also aimed at providing adequate airport terminal buildings for passengers and their baggage as well as for air cargo, with all related facilities and services.

Economics: The Convention on International Civil Aviation requires that international air transport services be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically. In fact, ICAO's basic objective is the development of safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport. To assist States in planning their air transport services, ICAO collects and publishes comprehensive world aviation statistical data, and undertakes extensive economic studies in line with Resolutions of the ICAO Assembly and Recommendations of world-wide conferences. ICAO also produces manuals for the guidance of States in such areas as statistics, air traffic forecasting, airport and air navigation facility tariffs, the economic regulation of air transport and the establishment of air fares and rates. Workshop meetings are conducted in various regions to provide States with information and advice on ICAO activities and to exchange pertinent information and views.

Technical Co-operation for Development: ICAO’s work in this area has been directed toward the development of the ground services required for civil aviation and, in particular, toward aerodromes, air traffic control, communications and meteorological services; in the past few years, and with the advent of larger and more complex aircraft, requests for assistance in the more sophisticated fields of aviation, including airports operations, have been increasing in number. In response to the alarming incidents in recent years of acts of unlawful interference against aircraft and airports, ICAO also provides assistance to States in order to improve their aviation security facilities and procedures. Assistance in general has consisted of advising on the organization of government civil aviation departments and on the location and operation of facilities and services, and particularly in the recruitment and administration of experts, fellowships training and procurement of equipment. Smaller national training centres have also been established by ICAO technical co-operation missions, and nationals of many countries have received ICAO fellowships for study abroad.

Law: Within the more than one hundred and eighty Contracting States of ICAO there are many legal philosophies and many different systems of jurisprudence. There is need, therefore, for a unifying influence, in certain areas, for the development of a code of international air law. It is a function of ICAO to facilitate the adoption of international air law instruments and to promote their general acceptance. So far international air law instruments have been adopted under the Organization's auspices involving such varied subjects as the international recognition of property rights in aircraft, damage done by aircraft to third parties on the surface, the liability of the air carrier to its passengers, crimes committed on board aircraft, the marking of plastic explosives for detection and unlawful interference with civil aviation.

What is SITA in the current market sceanario?

SITA is the world’s leading provider of global Information Technology and Telecommunications (IT&T) solutions to the air transport and related industries. As a partner with airlines, airports and the many related air transport organizations, SITA has worked closely with the industry as it has evolved over the last 54 years.

SITA SC is a Belgium cooperative providing communication services to the air transport industry and to international organizations over the world’s largest network.

SITA INC (Information Networking Computing) is a provider to the travel and transportation industry of value-added IT solutions and applications integrated with the network.

With over 50 years experience, SITA offers: A portfolio of telecommunication, application and desktop services specifically for the air transport industry. Global reach based on local presence, with services for around 700 members and 1,800 customers in over 220 countries and territories. Services to airlines, airports, aerospace companies - organizations involved in aircraft design and communication - as well as logistics and travel distribution organizations, international organizations and governments. IT&T solutions at virtually every step of the journey, from reservation, web booking and ticketing, through check-in, baggage tracking, immigration and border control solutions, to departure control, flight operations, in-flight communications, and much more….

SITA continues to be the only organization providing the global IT&T products, services and infrastructure that enable air transport organizations to operate seamlessly in every corner of the globe. Today, SITA has around 3,400 staff of more than 140 nationalities, from all over the world, proficient in 70 different languages. This means that SITA can offer access to local people, with local, specific industry knowledge. SITA’s global reach, its neutrality ... and the fact that SITA is completely owned by the aviation community... all remain critical to its customers and to the industry at large. It provides the widest portfolio of managed data and voice network services over a single seamless network - the largest in the world. In fact, there is a network presence in over 2,100 locations in over 220 countries/territories. It is the leading provider, to airports and the wider aviation sector, of the end-to-end IT infrastructure, shared use platforms, and application solutions. And it leads the industry in the provision of hosted and managed applications to the air transport industry.SITA continues to address the changing IT and telecommunications needs of the air transport industry, providing value-added IT solutions and applications integrated with the network.