Airports Council International (ACI) director general Angela Gittens said the world's airports and airlines need to band together to fight the "threat of government action" regarding the imposition of taxes and fees on aviation.

Speaking to reporters Nov. 2 at ACI's World Annual General Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, Gittens said governments facing debt problems are aiming "to introduce costs into the [aviation] system" that could force reductions in capacity.

"The increasing targeting of aviation, whether it's airlines or airports ... is self-defeating," she said in a joint press conference with IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler. "Neither of us [airlines or airports] needs the kinds of restrictions that cripple the very economies these governments are trying to save. It's very important for airlines and airports to speak with one voice. One step is to explain with objective data just how important [commercial aviation] is to countries' economies."

Tyler added, "A lot of governments do get it. They do understand the importance of a successful aviaiton sector ... but some of them don't. It seems to me it's more of the developed world where we have a problem ... The only thing that's really going to get [nations] out of the mire is economic growth and it would be a welcome change if governments started to see airlines and airports as an engine of economic growth rather than cash cows to be milked."