Air cargo security and e-commerce will be the priorities of the newly formed Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) after its four founding member associations finalised and signed the basic principles of the Group at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Istanbul.
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) also agreed to address the issues of Customs and trade facilitation and sustainability of the global air cargo industry.
Completing the formation of the new group ahead of the original time schedule, the founding members said the advisory group’s role is to establish a vision and strategy for the global air cargo supply chain and to present joint industry positions to third parties, including inter-governmental organizations such as WCO and ICAO. Chairmanship of GACAG’s new Steering Committee will rotate among the members on an annual basis, commencing with TIACA for 2011. They have also agreed that TIACA will serve as the Secretariat for GACAG.
Each member will designate two representatives onto the GACAG Steering Committee, which will direct, supervise and assist Task Forces of technical experts responsible for addressing GACAG’s objectives in relation to security, e-commerce, Customs and sustainability. The individual Task Forces will report back to the committee with recommendations.
In relation to air cargo security, the Security Task Force will focus on four areas:
The Steering Committee will work on a similar set of objectives for e-commerce, Customs and facilitation, and sustainability of the global air cargo industry. These will be published in due course.
In a joint statement, the heads of the four founding member Associations stated: “The high level of co-operation and commitment from all members has ensured a faster formation of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group than was originally anticipated. We believe this reflects the need for such a strong industry-wide voice to address the challenges and opportunities facing everyone in the air cargo supply chain and, ultimately, businesses across the globe that rely on the speed, safety and efficiency of air cargo for their own growth and development. We are now ‘ready to go to work’ with a clear agreement on the prime areas we must focus on and the supporting structure to achieve our goals.”
FIATA, IATA, TIACA and GSF commenced the process that has led to the formation of GACAG last November at the TIACA Air Cargo Forum and Exposition in Amsterdam. During the conference, Michael Steen, Chairman of TIACA, Des Vertannes, Global Head of Cargo of IATA, Jean-Claude Delen, President of FIATA, and Peter J. Gatti, Executive Vice President of the U.S. based shipper organization, The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) on behalf of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), signed a letter of intent committing to work towards the formation of an industry advisory group to ensure the air cargo industry had a strong, unified voice in its dealings with worldwide regulatory authorities and other bodies whose decisions directly impact on air cargo.