IATA Delays Resolution 787 Enactment, Continues NDC Prep

The International Air Transport Association will extend its planned June 1 enactment of Resolution 787 as it awaits U.S. Department of Transportation approval. But DOT's lack of response to the association's March application regarding Resolution 787 does not appear to be slowing IATA's prep work on a stated plan "to modernize distribution communications technology with a new XML standards."

Reiterating IATA's stance that it does not even need DOT approval to proceed with its New Distribution Capability, IATA official Lionel van der Walt this month during a Computerized Airline Sales and Marketing Association conference in Las Vegas said he anticipated little pushback from DOT.

DOT's ultimate response to IATA's application "is a guessing game for all of us," van der Walt said, citing the fervent opposition that has given voice to privacy, transparency and other concerns. "As long we're not doing anything that impacts on the end consumer, I don't see DOT coming out on anything for or against. My feeling is we might see them coming out pretty neutral, but making some statements about these areas [of protest by the parties in opposition] and wanting to get comfort that if anything happens outside or is being abused, actions will be taken."

Declining to indicate when it will act on IATA's application, a DOT official this week made clear that the department is not under any deadlines.

"In effect some work__call it technical and preparatory work__can continue while we await the decision, however nothing in the resolution can become effective or be implemented prior to DOT approval," according to an IATA spokesperson.

In the meantime, the association is overseeing multiple working groups that are meeting regularly on NDC development and is actively soliciting pilot participants for the program. The XML schema for NDC already is in development and IATA's annual meeting next week will showcase "a non-functional" demonstration to present "how travel offers could be presented in an NDC-enabled environment," according to a media invitation.

Note: A previous version of this article included the headline, 'Waiting On DOT, IATA Delays Resolution 787 Enactment, Continues NDC Prep.' Though IATA will not enact Resolution 787 application until DOT approves its application, an IATA spokesperson clarified the next procedural steps. "At this point in the approval process, we are not waiting on DOT, they are waiting on us. The comment period closed May 1 and we now have the opportunity to respond to comments."