Five Questions with ... Tony Tyler
Although Tony Tyler only succeeded Giovanni Bisignani as director general of the International Air Transport Association in July, he has already made quite a name for himself in the industry. Tyler recently sat down with Air Cargo World to discuss how he plans to blaze his own trail while also building off Bisignani’s success.
1. How will you follow in Giovanni Bisignani’s footsteps?
Giovanni left an impressive legacy. I’m fortunate to be taking over an organization with a track record of some major successes in recent years. Even more importantly, I’m inheriting a team of highly motivated professionals who are dedicated to delivering results that help the industry improve business.
The aviation value chain is complex — and IATA alone can’t drive change. But there is a lot of common ground on issues, ranging from safety and security to industry efficiency, that give us great scope for cooperation. I see IATA’s natural role as being a catalyst for cooperation among industry stakeholders and governments that serves everybody’s interest.
That is particularly true in cargo where E-freight and security are probably the two biggest issues for us. Actually, the two are related, because using E-documents along the whole cargo supply chain would make securing it much easier and more effective. We have already produced 20 electronic standards for E-freight, all of which are core-shipping documents, allowing us to achieve a paperless environment in 44 countries.
We need to get the entire supply chain working together if we are going to meet our targets. This year, we’ve aimed for 10 percent on E-freight-capable trade routes and 100 percent by 2015. The Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) will play a key role in aligning the supply chain. E-freight is a game-changing opportunity that the air cargo value-chain can’t afford to miss.
2. What are some of the current challenges in the industry?
There’s no shortage of challenges. The impact of a sluggish global economy and high fuel prices are common problems across the industry. The challenge to respond responsibly to climate change is universal. But even more fundamentally, there are the constant challenges of safety and security.
For safety, we are definitely on the right track. The Dangerous Goods Regulations, for example, are well-established global standards that IATA supports with various products and services including IATA Operational Safety Auditing, IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations, training and manuals. The transport of lithium batteries is an increasing safety concern for our members. IATA is organizing the first-ever seminar on this topic in Shanghai from November 8-9.
There is much more to do in the way of security. Everybody recognizes its importance, but that has not yet translated into the kind of global cooperation that we see on safety.
Since the events last October concerning shipments from Yemen, we have been collaborating with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and our GACAG partners to find and implement effective solutions that meet the evolving challenge.
Secure freight is part of the solution. IATA firmly believes in a risk-based approach to security, with responsibility shared across the value chain. The secure freight initiative has been successfully piloted in Malaysia, and Egypt, Kenya, Mexico and Chile have confirmed their wish to move forward with the program. The goal is to deliver successful results that will be a model for others to follow.