A new report by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), has projected growth in global air transport sector in the next two decades, with the sector raking in $5.7 trillion in revenue and creating about 97.8 million jobs through an open and free trade approach.

The report titled ‘Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders’, released on Wednesday by ATAG, estimates that the global air transport sector currently supports 65.5 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in economic activity.

However, the group cautioned that if governments created a more fragmented world with isolationism and protectionist policies, over 12 million fewer jobs and $1.2 trillion less in economic activity would be supported by air transport by 2036.

The report explores the fundamental role civil aviation plays for today’s society and addresses the economic, social and environmental impacts of this global industry.

Launching the report at the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, the group’s Executive Director, Michael Gill, said advances in air transport had changed the way people and businesses connect with each other.

He noted that “the reach we have today is extraordinary. More people in more parts of the world than ever before are taking advantage of safe, fast and efficient travel.”

Gill disclosed that there were over 10 million women and men working within the industry to make sure 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers a day are guided safely through their journeys.

“The wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport show that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6 per cent of global economic activity are supported by our industry.