Aviation must involve workers enroute to a net-zero future

October 3, 2023

MADRID – The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today called on employers, regulators, policy makers, solution providers and experts from across the aviation value chain gathered at IATA’s World Sustainability Summit to ensure frontline workers and their union representatives are consulted and involved to help expedite the sector’s transition to a net-zero future.

“ITF supports the industry’s mission to de-carbonize and welcomes the opportunity to engage with government officials and industry experts gathered here to discuss ways to overcome the considerable challenges the sector faces to achieve net zero and mitigate its impact on the environment,” said Rob Johnston, ITF Assistant General Secretary, live from the Summit in Madrid.

Speed is of the essence. Millions of aviation workers are experiencing the effects of climate change first hand, which is making the aviation workplace more dangerous. Increasing air turbulence poses a major risk to passengers and flight crew, extreme heat is disrupting airport operations, and rising sea levels threaten to inundate airports.”

“ITF will continue to press governments to step up their efforts to support and incentivise the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels and the development of carbon-neutral aircraft. Equally ITF and its union affiliates will continue our dialogue with airlines, airports, ANSPs, OEMs and others to remind them that workers drive the industry forward and should be consulted throughout the process to ensure a smooth and just transition to a net zero future.”

During last year’s ICAO General Assembly, ITF, along with IndustriALL Global Union, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and IndustriAll European Trade Union submitted a paper calling for a just transition to a zero-carbon future which emphasised the need for quality social dialogue, investment into training and the creation of sectoral action plans by social partners with the relevant authorities. ICAO’s declaration fell short in acknowledging this fundamental requirement as a non-binding recommendation for states to achieve the goal “in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner and in accordance with national circumstances’’.

Read more about ITF’s sustainable aviation policy here.

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