The open war between Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general, and Giora Rom, director general of the Israeli civil aviation authority (CAA), has reached a new peak. The outcome: the relations between the two bodies are non-existent and the Israeli side is not ready to lower the flames.
Rom repeats his criticism on Bisignani and he does not select words: ” Stupid and rude ” are the most delicate ones when he refers to the declaration of IATA’s director general while visiting Israel.
The war started when Bisignani visited Israel last November. In a press conference, he urged Israel to speed up its exit from Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s International Aviation Safety Assessment. “Israel has been in Category 2 for far too long. It is a national embarrassment. Moreover, it is a costly situation for Israel’s reputation and for the financial health of its carriers.”
Bisignani said that IATA offered its expertise to speed the process and encouraged Israel to join the growing list of countries that have made IOSA a national requirement.
These words infuriated the director general of the CAA. “As a guest in our country he should have acted with more politeness especially when he does not know the facts,” Rom said.
He explained that Israel was demoted to category 2 after failing in 13 chapters. “Other countries failed in one or maximum three and they fixed the problems in a year or two. In our case, we have to make a revolution and we are in the middle of the process. Before criticising he should have learned the facts,” Rom said.
Steve Lott, corporate spokesman for IATA, is not ready to comment on the harsh words of the director general of the Israeli CAA. He only says that Israel is still in category 2 and that is putting many restrictions on the country’s aviation. He adds: ”I hope that the legislation process of a new aviation law is expedited and that other problems are solved so that the situation will be back to normal.”