The development of Vietnam’s dynamic and robust aviation is expected to greatly benefit the national economy, a conference in Hanoi heard on August 27.

Aviation should be considered a strategic economic sector and be paid the attention this command, said Tony Tyler, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

He stated that the industry now contributes 6 billion USD to Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) and generates more than 230,000 jobs domestically.

During the 2008-2013 period, the number of air passengers increased by 96 percent.

According to Pham Ngoc Minh, General Director of Vietnam Airlines Corporation, the highest priority for the sustainable development of airlines in Vietnam is to guarantee flight safety and improve the quality of services.

Carriers should promptly implement IATA’s safety management programmes and pursue certifications equivalent to IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) standards, he said.

Vietnam Airlines received IOSA certification and was granted IATA membership in 2006. It joined the global airline alliance SkyTeam in 2010.

During the conference, jointly organised by IATA and Vietnam Airlines, over 240 delegates discussed infrastructure development, flight safety, aviation policies and services, as well as global trends and Vietnam’s integration into the international market.

IATA predictions for the 2013-2017 period state that Vietnam is set to rank seventh amongst the most rapidly developing aviation markets in the world, with increases in international passenger and cargo transport of 6.9 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.-VNA