Sergio Allard
View from the Top

Flying in International Best Practices

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 10:16

Q: What is CANAERO’s role in the Mexican aviation industry and what are the chamber’s priorities for 2017?
A: CANAERO consolidated its position as the advisory body that, alongside national and international authorities, faces the challenges that emerge from a quickly growing and dynamic global aviation industry. We prioritize the adoption of best international practices and regulations in security, operability, consumer protection and environmental practices. The chamber does this by optimizing migration, customs and security processes, promoting NAICM’s competitiveness in comparison to other airports in Latin America, modernizing Mexico’s existing airport infrastructure and raising awareness about the importance of the Mexican aviation industry and the challenges it represents.
The chamber has several projects in collaboration with national authorities. These include creating a smart regulation that further opens the Mexican aviation market to private investment and establishing the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) and the Federal Transportation Accident Investigation Agency (AFIAT). The chamber will also focus on modernizing the provisions of the Cape City Convention regarding financing conditions and aircraft leasing in Mexico, and on the adoption of best international practices for security and fatigue management among Mexican crews.
Q: What strategies is CANAERO implementing to increase efficiency in AICM?
A: CANAERO is working with the General Customs Administration (AGA) and the Tax Administration Service (SAT) to implement a revised process for international passengers’ luggage. Passengers no longer need to go through customs after picking up their registered luggage. Also, CANAERO is backing SCT and SECTUR in the creation of automated migration kiosks that will reduce waiting times for passengers entering the country in the airports of Mexico City, Cancun and Los Cabos. We actively take part in the revision of master development plans of Mexico’s airports to incorporate best international practices into their operation and in the improvement of the country’s airport infrastructure. CANAERO also promotes the implementation of technologies that improve the travel experience of passengers in Mexico.
Q: How is CANAERO supporting the design and construction of NAICM?
A: CANAERO’s NAICM committee provides GACM recommendations for improvements in the design of the airport’s terminal building, airfield, cargo terminal, land accesses, baggage-handling system and back-up areas. The chamber has presented a plan to improve migratory and customs procedures in order to have a hub that operates under the best international practices, uses state-of-the-art, world-class technology and connects Mexico and Latin America with the rest of the world.
Q: What global and local aviation trends is CANAERO seeing in the industry?
A: We estimate that air transportation in Mexico and Latin America is in a growth stage because of the maturation and segmentation of this market. This has enabled airlines to offer products that cater to the specific needs of passengers. The chamber estimated that Mexico will see its aviation sector grow 6 percent annually during the next decade. The depreciation of currencies against the dollar, the rise of fuel prices and the rise of aviation tax rates are the most pressing challenges that Latin American airlines need to tackle. Also, setbacks in the process of deregulation of the aviation market raise compliance costs for airlines and passengers.  
Q: How will the aviation industry be affected by the opening of the jet-fuel market to other players?
A: Free competition can provide several potential benefits. Oil companies are interested in and working to enter the Mexican market. Their entrance will bring competitive prices and transparency, which will result in the creation of infrastructure for hydrocarbon transportation. In the midterm, we can expect competitive fuel prices similar to those in international markets.
Q: How are Mexican airlines and airports doing compared with the rest of Latin America?
A: The domestic market has been consolidating for the past several years as Aeroméxico, Volaris and Viva Aerobus identified and segmented their products according to the demands of passengers. Alongside the modernization of the Mexican fleet, this has allowed airlines to increase their capacity and the frequency of operations. There are still challenges ahead, though. The depreciation of the peso against the dollar, high airport tariffs and overregulation damage the competitiveness of the Mexican aviation industry against other countries. These issues make it more difficult for airlines to reduce costs and to invest in technologies that help them compete against other transportation means and foreign airlines that operate under better regulatory conditions.
In terms of airport infrastructure, the construction of NAICM represents a transition for air transport in Mexico. We will be more competitive against other passenger and cargo hubs in America. To make the best out of the aviation industry in Mexico, it is necessary to develop a smart regulatory framework that raises Mexican airports’ and airlines’ competitiveness to the same level of other countries. Reinforcing the airport and air navigation infrastructure is essential to boost the capacity and safety of the industry and mitigate the high costs resulting from inefficient regulations that are then passed on to passengers and airlines.
Q: How will the new regulations on compensation for passengers who suffer delays affect airlines’ budgets and operations?
A: Passengers and their safety are the main priority for airlines. This has prompted airlines to provide protective measures that had not been previously considered in the legislation. Although the new regulation imposes challenges and restricts the contractual freedom that exists between airlines and passengers, compensation for delays will not generate increases in ticket prices. Also, with the new reforms, we will have more clarity on how to compensate our passengers while following principles of proportionality and international treaties.
Q: What policies on passenger rights is CANAERO proposing?
A: For CANAERO, policies must be based on transparency and access to information. The chamber works to ensure passengers know their rights and obligations. We proposed a new regulation on the responsibility and appropriate treatment of disruptive passengers. There is no clear framework for handling these problems and the additional costs brought about by passengers who violate security during a flight.
Q: How does CANAERO help its members become more efficient and safe?
A: CANAERO and its members communicate and actively participate in industry committees within international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, ALTA (Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association) and CLAC (Latin American Commission on Civil Aviation). These organizations produce recommendations and provide updated procedures to increase efficiency and security for flight operations. Also, CANAERO’s committees discuss best international practices and pursue their implementation by airlines, authorities and airports.
Q: What steps is CANAERO implementing to promote environmentally friendly practices among its members?
A: The chamber shares the objective of reducing carbon emissions from international operations to 2005 levels by 2035 with ICAO and IATA. CANAERO works with two main measures through its environmental committee. First, we work to implement emission-compensation models like the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) using market-based measures. Second, we support the implementation of Performance-Based Navigation (PBN). CANAERO is also collaborating with SEMARNAT, DGAC and SRE to look at emission-reduction schemes for national aviation.
Q: How does CANAERO collaborate with the authorities and international aviation organizations?
A: The chamber campaigns to raise awareness among the authorities and citizens regarding the importance of aviation to the Mexican economy. We also participate in work groups with civil aviation authorities and the Mexican Congress to develop or improve regulations that liberalize the sector and advance passenger security and satisfaction. CANAERO works continuously with international civil aviation organizations to boost security and competitiveness in the Mexican aviation industry by creating proposals based on best international operational and regulatory practices. The chamber is in continuous communication with its members so that they remain updated on these practices. CANAERO also helps its members adhere to these practices by providing advisory services.