JIS News

On Monday (June 28), when the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 2010 Conference for Air Services Negotiations (ICAN) officially begins in Montego Bay, St. James, Regional Approach in Air Transport Liberalization will be one of the much anticipated topics of discussion.
The session will see delegates from 42 member states, drawn from the nine ICAO regional groupings; share their experiences and the progress of their respective regions in regularising air transport.
The ICAO regions are: African Indian Ocean, ASIA, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North American, North Atlantic, Pacific and South America.
Pointing to Cabinet’s recent approval of an Open Skies Agreement with Singapore, Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) Lt. Col. Oscar Derby told JIS News that Jamaica has made significant inroads in liberalising air transport. The Agreeement with Singapore will be finalised at the conference.
Lt. Col. Derby noted that the adoption of an Open Skies policy and a liberalised approach is more market driven and is beneficial to Jamaica.
“City piers with open skies agreement usually experience an average 25 per cent reduction in air fares and traffic between piers increase by at least 20 per cent,” he explained.
To date, Jamaica only has one Open Skies Agreement with the United States of America. While some of these countries have adopted an Open Skies Policy, others still have not. Jamaica has restrictive air service agreements with a number of countries including Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Many countries still operate with those kinds of agreements, which are considered restrictive agreements, but the trend worldwide is that states are moving towards Open Skies Agreements,” he added.
The panel discussion will explore, among other things, the advantages and weaknesses of a regional approach to air transport liberalisation and the prospects of multilaterism in commercial rights.
Representing the Caribbean Community on the panel will be transportation specialist at the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), John Lewis. Other panelists include: Superintendent, Department of International Relations, ANAC, Brazil, Bruno Silva Dalcolmo; Assistant Undersecretary for Aviation Services, Civil Aviation Affairs, Bahrai, Ahmed Neimat Ali; and Senior Officer at the ICAO Air Transport Bureau, Yuanzheng Wang.
Other topical issues to take focus at the six-day conference include the Liberalisation of Market Access and the Liberalisation of Air Carrier Ownership and Control.
The JCAA is reporting a remarkable increase in confirmations for the conference, following earlier cancellations because of the West Kingston conflict.
“We were a little bit concerned about the number of delegates registered, but it went up in the last week from 95 to 152. So it has allayed our fears significantly,” he told JIS News. An additional 20 delegates have since been confirmed, increasing the count to 172.

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