The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international trade organization founded in 1945 by a group of 57 member airlines, mostly in Europe and North America. It succeeded the International Traffic Association founded in 1919, the year in which the first international scheduled service went into operation. IATA’s head offices are located in Montreal, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland, with other offices spread across the globe. Today (2012), the IATA represents some 240 airlines in over 115 countries throughout the world. This equates to around 85% of total air traffic. IATA’s mission is “to represent, lead and serve the airline industry” and one of its main aims is to provide safe transport for passengers. Membership of the organization is open to all airlines that operate international and/or domestic services and is subject to the internationally recognized IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which assesses an airline’s operational management and control system using standardised principles. Together with safety and security, IATA considers the environment to be one of its top priorities. The airline industry is constantly working on the reduction of emissions and noise and IATA provides considerable support. Great strides have already been made and airlines have improved fuel efficiency and CO2 performance by around 15% in the last decade. Thanks to new technologies, the noise level of today’s aircraft has been reduced by around 50% in comparison to 10 years ago. As technology continues to change and new solutions emerge in the fields of alternative fuels, new materials and designs, it is estimated that it will be possible to launch an emission-free aircraft by around 2060.
- Sahara Desert