Region in talks to operate single airspace
Posted Friday, January 25 2013 at 00:00
Other challenges were related to the current low EAC regional and international airport capacities.
East African member states are in dialogue over centralising the operation of their airspaces.
Initially, each member state used to have its own regulations until Uganda complied.
Mr Ignie Igundura, the Civil Aviation Authority public relations manager, said they are stillnegotiating with partner states and as soon as they are ready, there will be one air space in the region.
“We are already into final harmonization of an EAC Single Sky-looking at regulations, having a single over sight agency, and we are only remaining on how the upper air space (Altitude) will be managed as a region,” he said.
Principal Aviation Officer, Engineer Ladislaus Matindi, said the starting point of the EAC efforts in the liberalisation of its air transport market was the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) of October 7, 1988, regarding Liberalisation of Access to air transport markets in Africa.
“The Council is expecting to consider a draft by the end of May this year,”Eng. Matindi said.
With the development of the framework for the liberalisation of air transport in the region, partner states will eliminate all the economic restrictions in the aviation sub-sector related to capacity, frequencies, city pairs, cabotage, and designation of airlines.
“... it is hoped that operational efficiencies and increased frequencies and capacities will lead to higher levels of service in the aviation market in the region and lower fares and freight charges,” said Eng. Matindi.
Despite the will to liberalise the air transport market in the bloc, the EAC Principal Aviation Officer said there were still a number of challenges to overcome; the most visible being the assurance of fair competition for both big and small airlines.
He added: “Some partner states with small and weaker airlines fear that full liberalisation may lead to the disappearance of their airlines due to anti-competitive behaviour by the bigger airlines.”