The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) passed six resolutions at the conclusion of its annual assembly in Jeju, South Korea, Oct. 19.

They included two new resolutions addressing the issue of aviation manpower and wildlife trafficking. Other resolutions passed tackles aviation infrastructure, safety and passenger rights.

ICAO has outlined the need for over 620,000 pilots, 1.3 million aircraft maintenance personnel and 125,000 air traffic controllers over the next 20 years to meet the needs of the growing aviation sector. The new AAPA resolution calls for governments to support ICAO's Next Generation Aviation Professionals initiative to invest in aviation education, as well as promote best practices in human resource development. These include reviewing retirement age, addressing gender equality, gender bias and promoting diversity.

AAPA director general Andrew Herdman gave the example of how female pilots still represent less than 10% of the community despite widespread recruitment efforts.

In addition, he pointed out that pilot salaries vary across countries, although rates in developed and developing countries are narrowing.

 “It is an international market and there should be an international rate.” he said.

Wildlife trafficking has gained media attention in the region and AAPA is looking to tackle the $20-$25 billion criminal industry, collaborating with airports, freight forwarders and enforcement agencies. The association encourages airlines to support the principles outlined in the Buckingham Palace Declaration of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce. AAPA signatories include All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.

“We are already involved with a number of awareness raising efforts with interest groups, government agencies and NGOS,” Herdman said.  “It’s about building community support and sharing intelligence to tackle such activities.”

AAPA is also urging governments and operators to work together to ensure implementation of the global aviation emissions trading scheme, CORSIA, without unnecessary duplication.

The European Union Emission Trading System does not apply to non-EU services to and from Europe, but applies tariffs on flights within the EU. When CORSIA comes into effect in January 2019, international flights within the EU will be counted twice. AAPA and other aviation associations have written to the European Commission on the matter.

 Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com