The 30th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Ground Handing Conference (IGHC) began today in Bangkok, Thailand.
To kick off the conference's opening sessions, Joseph Suidan, head of
ground operations, aiport passenger cargo and security for IATA,
welcomed attendees to the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Center,
emphasizing the importance of working together to solve problems facing
the ground handling profession.
"It is vital that we are working on what the industry wants and needs," Suidan said. "This is why we run this conference."
Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, minster of transport for Thailand, offered
insight into the devlopments taking place in the host country and
called attention to the safety and security measures being put in
Arun Mishra, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
regional director, Asia and Pacific, noted the need to develop the next
generation of aviation professionals. He added speed, efficiency and
accuracy is imperative for ground handling operations in order to
minimize turnaround times and handling costs, but at the same time, the
industry is under constant pressure from increased competition, rising
passenger and cargo traffic and other factors.
"The industry has become more complex and challenging, and there is a
greater need to work together," Mishra said. "We need to come together
as never before ... to ensure a more efficient operating environment."
Nick Careen, senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and
security at IATA, spoke about the ways the industry is rapidly growing
"We always seem to have our set of challenges. But one thing very
important to recognize is that there is no other industry on the planet
as resilient as ours," he said.
He also spoke to the importance of the people in the industry.
"At the end of the day, we still rely on human beings," Careen said.
Other opening speakers, repesenting Thailand and the surrounding
region included Phakkhra Ruangsiraddecho, executive vice president of
the aviation business unit at Thai Airways; Conrad Clifford, regional
vice president, IATA Asia Pacific; and David Walker, CEO Jardine
Aviation Services Group.
The morning session also featured a look at the finalasts for the
first IGHC Innovator award; a panel on employee retenntion; and an
overview of the benefits of virtual reality training.
The IGHC continues Tuesday and will conclude Wednesday.