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What’s the biggest risk facing the aviation industry?

“It’s climate, climate and climate to be honest. It’s such a big issue,” said John Rooley (pictured), the London based CEO of the Willis Towers Watson (WTW) Global Aerospace division.

Three years ago, WTW formed the Airport Risk Community (ARC) to help manage the airport risk landscape by connecting industry professionals and facilitate knowledge and data sharing.

Despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 to the industry, Rooley said climate risk has dominated ARC’s discussions.

“We’re at the forefront of how climate impacts the insurance industry,” he said. “We’ve got some great colleagues in our climate group who help analyse the future of risk and we’re seeing a lot of airports and a lot of airlines looking to assess the impact of climate change on their business.”

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The Global Aerospace CEO said a lot of airline industry operators are now obliged to provide their owners and regulators, including governments, boards and private entities with climate related risk assessments.

“They don’t have the expertise to do that and so we feel that we can offer, through membership of communities like ARC, access to other individuals who have similar issues or, in fact, expertise at Willis Towers Watson that can help them assess those risks and how it’s going to impact their business in the future,” he said.

In recent years, the natural resources industry has faced increasing problems finding insurance coverage for dirtier pursuits connected to climate change, especially coal mining.

“We’re already seeing certain insurers, for example, in the natural resources industry, even if the underwriters wanted to, [who] aren’t able to insure risks that don’t have the appropriate carbon attitude for the future,” said Rooley.

Rooley is concerned that the aviation industry, with its large carbon…

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