Aviation Wrap-Up February 2022

More Signs of Digitalization, On-Time Performance and Sustainability

UN’s ICAO and UNECE Issue New Digital Air Cargo Technical Specifications Guidance

Toward accelerating the transition to safer, more resilient supply chains during the ongoing pandemic recovery phase, the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) recently issued new digital air cargo technical specifications guidance.  The specifications, which are aligned with the ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) recommendations, are designed to reduce physical contact among international trade and transport professionals. They are intended to provide better protection of cross-border trade flow and international transport operations from pandemic-related restrictions. These digital specifications will replace paper-based documents such as Air Waybills (AWBs), Dangerous Goods Declarations (DGDs) and Consignment Security Declarations (CSDs).

ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar stated, “The latest innovations reflect ICAO’s integrated, collaborative, and multilateral approach to transport policies encompassing air cargo and mail supply chains and will play an important part in addressing both current and future pandemic risks.”

Punctuality League Cites Best Airports for On-Time Service

Based on the latest research from the Official Airline Guide (OAG), there are certain airports that come out on top in on-time service. The OAG’s annual Punctuality League report. The findings are based on a broad collection of data which reflects “every” journey, booking, takeoff and landing, departure, and delay. These metrics were reviewed and tabulated to reflect overall on-time performance and not solely flight arrivals and departures.

The OAG Punctuality League report found these to be the most punctual U.S. airports:

  1. Charlotte Douglas International, North Caroline, averaging 1,600 aircraft operations daily serving over 100,000 passengers daily and 50 million annually
  2. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Michigan, averaging 1,100 flights daily
  3. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, Georgia, which holds the distinction of being the world’s busiest airport for over two decades
  4. Myrtle Beach International Airport, South Carolina,  which serves 3.2 million passengers annually
  5. Raleigh Durham International, North Carolina, which provides over 600 arrivals and departures daily
  6. Lihue Airport, Kauai, Hawaii, which recorded 1,333 flights in January or 44 flights per day
  7. Philadelphia International Airport, Pennsylvania, which had 243,906 takeoffs and landings in 2021
  8. Norfolk International, Virginia, which served 3.3 million passengers last year
  9. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International, Minnesota, which serves 34 million passengers annually
  10. Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania, which has more than 135 nonstop flights depart daily.

Invisible Disability Initiatives Unveiled by Changi Airport Group

Travelers, whose disabilities are not visible, are being accommodated by the Changi Airport Group (CAG) and its recently launched initiatives. Travelers with such conditions as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome and dementia will experience less stress and more inclusion as a result of the new initiatives kicked-off by CAG.

Coming under the title, Changi Airport Social Story, and developed in collaboration with educators from Rainbow Centre Training and Consultancy, a customized step-by-step airport guide was created giving these passengers a way to become more familiar with airport processes. Comprised of captioned images, the social story is often used by caregivers to acclimate individuals in advance of entering a new facility or situation. In this case, passengers can download and print content customized to their journey and needs. The Changi Airport Social Story also is accessible on the CAG website.

Other components of the CAG invisible disability initiatives include offering these passengers the option of wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard or “May I have a Seat Please” lanyard, each of which airport staff are trained to understand as being a symbol of requesting additional support. This support may be in the form giving a passenger more time to complete certain processes or helping him/her with a particular operation. Select CAG staff are also designated as Care Ambassadors by wearing a corresponding gold pin that identifies them as airport professionals who have been trained to support passengers with special needs.

CAG’s Vice President, Passenger Experience, Ground Operations and Customer Service stated, “Navigating unfamiliar places and procedures while catching a flight can be stressful, especially for passengers whose disabilities may not be immediately apparent. We worked closely with experts and sought feedback from the community on how we could better support their needs at the airport. The initiatives aim to improve the overall travel experience for passengers with invisible disabilities and we hope it makes the airport a more comfortable and accessible place for them.”

ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

Building Momentum

To date, there are now 100 participating states, including 16 small island and lesser-developed States, participating in the ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The 16 states include Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cook Islands, Gambia, Grenada, Kiribati, Nauru, Oman, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Sudan, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The CORSIA components are complementary to the climate impact reduction measures instituted by ICAO which consist of technological innovations, operational measures, CO2 monitoring and verification. As the ICAO States advance toward more carbon-neutral growth, they will also usher in the greening of air transportation across the world.

ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano remarked, “I highly welcome the announcements and engagement of more States to volunteer to join CORSIA. The increasing number of ICAO Member States’ participation in CORSIA sends a strong signal in terms of ICAO’s continued commitment to addressing CO2 emissions from international aviation, as recently emphasized by the Council. This timely leadership will help to build the strong momentum for global climate action, in the lead up toward the next  ICAO Assembly and beyond.”

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