Economic Policy and Regulation
Supporting Liberalization of International Air Services
The third ICAO Air Transport Symposium (IATS) was held in March 2016 under the theme “Addressing Competition Issues: Towards a Better Operating Environment”. The event, which was attended by 314 participants from 68 Member States and 14 organizations, served as a forum for exchange of information and insightful views on competition issues in international air transport. The discussions were useful for assisting the Air Transport Regulation Panel (ATRP) in its ongoing work on the development of draft international agreements for air transport liberalization.
During the year, the ATRP, through its working group, continued the drafting of international agreements for liberalization of market access including air cargo, and on air carrier ownership and control. The working group met at ICAO Headquarters in April to review the proposals on five key issues, namely, traffic rights; safeguards; air carrier ownership and control; amendment; and reservations. The meeting helped foster understanding of different viewpoints and the development of a way forward. Reports on the progress of work were presented to the governing bodies.
Pursuant to Assembly Resolution A38-14 which, inter alia, directed the Council to monitor developments in the area of competition, the Secretariat continued to update the online Compendium of States’ Competition Policies and Practices. By the end of 2016, the coverage of the compendium had increased from 60 States in 2015 to 90. The compendium provides information on: (i) general competition laws, regulations and/or policies applicable to air transport; (ii) aviation-specific competition rules; (iii) regulatory practices dealing with competition-related issues; (iv) relevant government agencies; and (v) online sources on competition.
The Secretariat continued to monitor developments on recent regulatory activity pertaining to passengers’ rights, and to update and improve the ICAO online database on consumer protection. The database includes a summary of consumer protection rules by region, international liability conventions and industry commitments. It also presents examples of consumer protection regimes following the same structure as the ICAO core principles on consumer protection, i.e. (i) before travel; (ii) during travel; and (iii) after travel.
The Secretariat developed a study on the economic and financial advantages related to the adoption of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment concluded in Cape Town on 16 November 2001, and the Protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment.