Japan's airports need government help, says IATA
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO, sees Japan as an emerging market for aviation biofuels. Algae-based alternative fuels will play an important part in Japan's future, he said, but only with government subsidies.
"Governments must provide a fiscal and legal framework that supports quick commercialization. This is particularly important for Japan, where an algae-based biofuels industry could help Japan to meet its climate change commitments and improve its energy security,” Bisignani told the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.
Days earlier, he had told attendees at the Aerospace Forum Asia in Hong Kong that Hong Kong International Airport needs a third runway in order to remain competitive. In turning his sights to Japan, he focused on ways the government could help the country improve its standing in the emerging aviation biofuels market and increase its competitiveness with China.
His suggestions included reducing the fees international carriers face when flying into Tokyo's Haneda airport as well as eliminating the airport's security charge; he also said reduced fees at the Narita airport in Tokyo would improve competition.
“A national aviation policy focused on competitiveness could play a big role in recovering lost economic ground," he said.
According to IATA, international air cargo flying annually through Japan will increase to 4.4 million tonnes by 2014, an nice increase over the 2009 mark of 2.7 million tonnes. If that number is achieved, Japan could become the world's fourth largest international freight market.