One of the key messages from IATA at this year's AGM in Cape Town is a call for governments to show restraint in regulating the aviation sector, as the association sees regional and unilateral rule-making on the rise.

"More and more governments are getting into the aviation regulatory field," says IATA corporate secretary Thomas Windmuller. This is exacerbated by the difficult conditions many regional and national economies are facing, giving fresh impetus to revenue-raising regulations.

"One aspect is governments are looking for money and aviation is seen as an easy market," says Windmuller. "We are seeing a plethora of taxes coming down the line." But he also sees governments at state and regional levels wanting to get more involved with regulation. The European Commission, for example, has take an active role in fields such as passenger rights and in the highest profile area of aviation emissions.

"When a regulator unilaterally steps in and says we're different it can have some negative unintended consequences," he says. IATA is planning to make a fresh resolution on passenger rights during this year's AGM. It will also look at trying to find common ground among member airlines to help governments secure a global deal on emissions through ICAO.

"We should all be on the same page [on regulations]. Where we do it, we do it well and it produces amazing results. Look at safety," Windmuller says, highlighting that for the first time in the association's history, none of its member airlines suffered a hull loss to a Western-built jet in 2012. "This is a result of all of us [working together]. The result is the accident rate has never been lower.

"We are calling on governments to exercise regulatory restraint. You want value-added regulations that are balanced and reasonable. You need to do a cost-benefit analysis. Any new regulation should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. You have to look at whether the medicine is worse than the disease," he says.

Source: Flight Daily News