Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: NextGen, Sesar, Emissions Trading, Globalization and Business Ethics on Agenda for Aviation Industry Associations

 - June 23, 2011, 3:30 AM

Ethics in the global aerospace industry is one of many topics that CEOs from the U.S. and Europe are addressing at meetings here this week, according to U.S. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Marion Blakey.

The former FAA Administrator came to the Paris Air Show along with a large congressional delegation to speak with counterparts from the EU and other aerospace executives from around world.

 “The show is obviously one that has full, intense involvement and engagement even in difficult times for the industry globally,” she told AIN just before the opening of the Paris Air Show.

 “From a U.S. DOD [Department of Defense] standpoint, we have a good contingent of aircraft that are coming over,” Blakey said. “And we are providing support for the aircrews and the [aircraft] corral.”

Blakey said the show is exciting because she thinks unmanned air systems and vehicles continue to be of much interest, and that U.S. Atomics has brought a maritime version of its Predator B. On the civil side, Boeing has the new 747-8 and the Dreamliner on display.

“We will get together with our counterparts from Europe, the ASD [Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe], and the CEOs, the leadership of both organizations, sit down and have a discussion where, I have to say, the agenda is heavily into civil aviation and commercial aviation,” Blakey added.

According to Blakey, the agenda is going to be focused around NextGen and Sesar and the optimization questions. She noted there is new leadership in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to both ensure that the two major satellite-based systems are achieving true harmonization and rationality together, as well as taking stock of how the two sides are developing on both the technical and policy standpoints.

“And I think that ICAO is committed to increasingly globalizing this ATM modernization initiative worldwide,” Blakey explained. “They are approaching this from the standpoint of block builds, one of the things the industry worldwide should be alert to.”

In addition to carbon emissions and the EU’s stand on its European Emissions Trading Scheme, the CEOs are talking here about the ethics initiative that was started several years ago. Members of AIA and ASD have created a new task force to administer the ongoing activities of the International Forum on Business Ethical Conduct (IFBEC).

IFBEC is an opportunity to exchange best practices for business ethics among industry participants and identify areas of commonality. While a number of U.S. and European companies have voiced their support for IFBEC and its global principles, there have been no formal procedures or requirements for participation in IFBEC or for registering adherence to the principles until now. AIA and ASD endorsed the global ethics principles in October 2010.

“We are putting forward a new charter, which we are committing to both on the European standpoint and our standpoint,” Blakey said. “There are a number of companies that are willing to stand up and be essentially accountable in terms of providing information and their commitment to reaching the global principles of business conduct that we have laid out.”

In order to participate in IFBEC, the new charter would require companies to execute an annual company statement about their corporate ethics policies and practices, their participation in industry-wide ethics activities and their commitment to bolstering adherence to the global principles within their company and among other industry customers, partners and suppliers.