Asean single aviation seen signed by December 2015
The ASAM is expected to fully liberalise air travel between member states in the Asean region, allowing Asean countries and airlines operating in the region to directly benefit from the growth in air travel around the world, and also freeing up tourism, trade, investment and services flows between member states.
The consultation paper explained that 2015 will be directed towards such things as the criteria for the right ownership and control of airlines, tariff and load unrestricted free from the Aeronautical Enforcement.
An Asean Chairman’s Statement last month said that the region recognises the need to strengthen intra-Asesan maritime and shipping services, and leaders have welcomed the progress in transport cooperation, which includes the establishment of a task force to monitor and promote the implementation of the Asean Single Shipping Market (ASSM) and the progress of ASAM.
This is particularly on the development of a framework on Ramp Inspection, Aviation Security join exercise and the Asean Regional Contingency Plan.
According to the consultation paper, Brunei is currently studying policies to allow the establishment of a new regional airline including low-cost carriers that would service the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Philippines – East Asean Growth Area) routes.
The plan for a single aviation market in the Asean is not without its critics.
Last March, the CAPA Centre for Aviation, a trade publication, came out with an article saying that single market is unlikely to be realised in substance by 2015.
According to the CAPA article, the Seventh Freedom – which allows carriers to mount flights between points in two countries for services that lie outside an airline’s home country – as well as the right of cabotage (the eighth freedom) – which allows a foreign carrier to connect two domestic points in a country – are not considered in this “single market”.
The article also said that the Multilateral Agreement on Air Services (MAAS), which contains protocols that free up third/fourth and fifth freedom access, are not accepted by Indonesia and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Multilateral Agreement for the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services, which abolishes third/fourth and fifth freedom restrictions among all other Asean cities, “has even fewer adherents”, with “Indonesia, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia yet to accept it”.