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Monday, April 1, 2013

Aviation Groups Push for Liberalization at Worldwide Air Transport Conference

Woodrow Bellamy III

The International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) sixth Worldwide Air Transport Conference (ATConf/6) held in Montreal last week resulted in participating states and aviation industry groups agreeing on long-term goals pushing for more liberalization regarding international regulations of air transportation services. 

ICAO said the conference—held once every 10 years—featured over 1,000 participants representing 132 countries. The organization said a new multilateral air cargo agreement reached at the conference is expected to boost global trade, though details of the agreement were not disclosed. In 2012 air cargo traffic declined by 1.5 percent compared to 2011, though the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) expects that number to increase in 2013.

Additionally, leaders at the conference discussed improving upon “excessively restrictive” air services agreements, which will be crucial as two of the world’s busiest airspaces, the U.S. and Europe, move closer to implementing their next-generation satellite-based air traffic systems.

National and regional regulatory and competition authorities at the conference agreed to pursue more cooperation regarding the area of airline ownership and control to provide for better prospects of profit margins across the air transport value chain, ICAO said. More

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