Aviation is ‘trapped in a web of protectionism’, is ‘not punching above its weight’ and ‘represents 35%-40% of global trade by value’ – more insights from the CAPA Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit

It is now 75 years since the aviation regulatory framework was established, and with the evolution of the industry many believe it is time for a serious global review of its relevance today. The “business of freedom” underpins 10% of global GDP and it is too important to be constrained by economic regulation that was designed to meet entirely different conditions.

What trends and opportunities await our industry? What strategic challenges and risks are we set to face in the year ahead? Discussions will cover Europe’s aviation relations with the world, a post Brexit world and its repercussions, North America’s approach to open skies, how open skies have helped Asia’s emerging markets, Africa and SAATM, airport privatisation and infrastructure, air cargo and industry sustainability.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation attempted to address those questions with its Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit, which had more than ten hours of agenda content designed to address the latest development in aviation regulation both within the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and globally.

Here’s some more insights and observations from delegates during the event at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel in Qatar.

National University of Singapore professor: ‘aviation remains trapped in a web of protectionism’
National University of Singapore professor of aviation law Alan Tan stated “aviation remains trapped in a web of protectionism”, noting “most states are enamoured by the outdated, archaic idea that flagship carriers are spreading the brand of the nation”.

AFRAA secretary general calls for establishment of SAATM ‘executive agency’
African Airlines Association secretary general Abderahmane Berthe stated Africa needs to prepare its airlines for “huge growth.” Mr Berthe called for the establishment of an “executive agency” on the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) to “enforce mechanisms” and maintain the level of aviation safety in Africa.

European Commission DG mobility & transport: ‘Aviation is not punching above its weight’
European Commission director general mobility and transport Henrik Hololei stated “aviation is not punching above its weight when it comes to government importance. It is not necessarily seen on a political agenda to the level its statistics suggest”.

RwandAir CEO: ‘We need to get the idea that protectionism will not work’
RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo stated “with 13 land locked countries, we need to get the idea that protectionism will not work – we need to open our skies, reduce taxes and allow for free movement of goods and services”.

MAVCOM director: 25% of traffic rights allocated are ‘not utilised’
Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) director aviation development Germal Singh Khera stated “the representation of traffic rights that have been granted to Malaysian carriers that operate both domestic and international amount 97%”. Mr Khera added, “out of this 97% allocated… about 25% are not utilised”.

LOOK OUT… Exclusive executive interviews from Doha will be published on CAPA TV in the coming weeks, as well as full coverage of the agenda sessions.

TIACA secretary general: ‘aviation represents 35%-40% of global trade by value’
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) secretary general Vladimir Zubkov stated “aviation represents 35%-40% of global trade by value”.

RwandAir CEO: SAATM is a ‘flagship agreement’
RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo, commented on the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as a “flagship agreement”, noting “we are seeing a change in mindset”. Ms Makolo stated “there is a level of optimism”, however SAATM will only succeed through liberalisation. Ms Makolo added, “there is a ‘not in my backyard mentality’ but they will see the benefits eventually”.

Cambodia SSCA: Dependence on ASEAN ‘alone might take some time’
Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation director of air transport Chanty Vann stated the Cambodian government formulated it’s own policy framework to prioritise the growth of aviation in Cambodia. Mr Vann stated: “To depend on ASEAN alone might take some time…” the formulation of a “special policy” by the government is in order to enhance aviation industry in Cambodia.

UFTAA president calls for collaboration between travel agencies and airlines
United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) president Sunil Kumar stated “we can add value to content and offer more services” through collaboration between travel agencies and airlines.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation members were able to see live updates from the CAPA Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit and have access to over 100 briefs from the event. Find out more about how a CAPA membership provides a front row seat to global aviation news, analysis and data as it happens, with access to a comprehensive suite of tools that can be customised to your needs.

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