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IATA's CEO talks fuel safety, supply reliability

By control on May 9, 2013

Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, talked about fuel safety and other topics with the Aviation Fuel Forum in Berlin.

On average, fuel accounts for a third of an airline's cost structure. The annual bill in 2013 is expected to be $209 billion.

“Safety is our most important priority,” Tyler said.

After fuel contamination issues, the International Civil Aviation Organization published a manual for best practices for jet fuel supply.

Tyler also talked about fuel supply reliability.

“Refinery closures in key markets and a lack of timely investments in supply logistics have resulted in longer and more complicated supply chains,” he said. “In line with this, we are seeing a corresponding impact on the potential for contamination, while the frequency and length of disruptions appear to be growing.”

IATA and airlines have been working with governments to address areas with persistent supply disruption problems. As a result, there is now construction of a new storage tank on the island of St. Maarten by a major fuel supplier, engagement with the Kenyan government to ease restrictions on the uplift of fuel for transport to neighboring Uganda and industry efforts at London Heathrow, Nice, Manchester and Miami.

Tyler said the fuel industry must also become more efficient for the environment. Aviation represents 2 percent of global manmade carbon emissions. The industry has embraced the agenda that includes improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent annually until 2020, achieving carbon-neutral growth starting in 2020 and cutting its net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.