Airlines worldwide are aiming to move about six billion passengers annually by 2030, which will represent almost a double growth from the present 3.3 billion passengers.
Council President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Bernard Aliu, told THISDAY at the 70th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Doha, Qatar that the expected increase would be a result of passenger movement, which doubles every 15 years.
He said as the world celebrates 100 years of commercial aviation, there are indications that this target would be exceeded in the next 15 years.
Aliu, a former Nigerian representative in ICAO, who was elected president last year said: “Let me tell you that globally the traffic is supposed to double by 2030. So right now, if we are doing 100, 000 flights a day we shall be doing 200,000 flights a day by 2030 globally.
“So there is a growing demand. That in itself is a positive thing because it ensures the contribution to economic and social development.”
The ICAO boss said the boost in air transport would come with challenges, noting that more infrastructure would be needed for airport operations in order to accommodate the traffic growth.
He urged member states to invest in infrastructure and pay more attention to safety, pointing out that as the number of flights increase there is the tendency that the number of accidents will also increase.
He if safety issues are given priority attention, the number of accidents that presently occur in the world would be curtailed.
“Also we have to continue to pay attention to safety because increasing the number of traffic should not lead to increasing the number of accidents. As a matter of fact, we want to decrease the number of accidents while the traffic is growing. That puts a lot of stress on government to invest in the right things to ensure security.” Aliu said.
On the future of aviation after 100 years of commercial aviation, he said: “The future for aviation is bright. You heard that the first commercial flight carried one passenger, but now we move three billion every year. That figure will double in 2030. Every 15 years the traffic figure has been doubling. That is the tremendous development that has taken place in the industry.”
He added: “Throughout this period, starting from 1944 when ICAO was put in place, the body has been guiding the industry by developing standards and recommending practices and policies that enable the industry to grow in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. So we have our task and we will continue to do that.”
IATA’s report on 100 years of commercial aviation illustrated how the airline industry continues to improve profitability through efficiency gains while connecting more cities, lowering transport costs, supporting jobs, and making major investments.
It stated that the global spending on air transport is expected to reach $746 billion in 2014, which equals one per cent of world GDP. [This Day]