30 August 2009

New Centre for Air Transport Research established at Otago University

Following funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and the Ministry of Tourism that was announced on 18 August 2009 by the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Wayne Mapp, and the Associate Minister of Tourism, Jonathan Coleman, a new Centre for Air Transport Research (CATR) has just been established in the Tourism Department at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The Director is Associate Professor David Timothy Duval. In its first year CATR will be working with Auckland economics consultancy Covec. As well as creating a web site, CATR also has a Twitter feed.

Other tourism research funding in this tranche went to Victoria University (Associate Professor Ian Yeoman) and Lincoln University (Associate Professor Susanne Becken).

A 24 August 2009 story in the New Zealand Herald covered the news.

23 August 2009

Virgin Atlantic criticising UK Air Passenger Duty

UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic has launched a web site section criticising the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) as an unjust tax (see previous post).

Amongst the "Key Points" is a call for the UK Government to withdraw APD when the EU emissions trading scheme covers aviation in 2012.

The web site encourages UK readers to write to their local MP.

Trans-Tasman air facilitation announcements

On 20 August 2009 the New Zealand and Australian governments made a set of announcements on how passengers crossing the Tasman would in future be processed through airports.

Media statements included those from:

22 August 2009

Lufthansa Policy Brief

The German airline Lufthansa is producing a regular public affairs publication it calls Lufthansa Policy Brief. The web site also has the articles arranged by topic. The earliest issue on the web site is from September 2005.

18 August 2009

US proposal for convention to remove ability to restrict foreign ownership of international airlines

Included on the IATA Agenda for Freedom web site (see previous post) is the draft text of a United States proposal for a multilateral convention that could speed up the removal of potential restrictions on foreign ownership and control of international airlines from bilateral air services agreements.

IATA "Agenda for Freedom" web site

The Geneva and Montreal based International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents most of the worlds international airlines, has established a dedicated web site for its Agenda for Freedom initiative (see previous post).

The site already contains a useful resource of information that is described as best practice on air services liberalisation from the European Commission, Switzerland, the United States of America and Chile.

Update of Australia-EU air services negotiations

A 7 August 2009 report in The Australian by Steve Creedy covers comments made by the Secretary of the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Mike Mrdak, on Australia's air services negotiations with the European Commission.

Mrdak was addressing an Australia Pacific Aviation Outlook summit conference held in Sydney.

McGill IASL holds Workshop and Conference in Abu Dhabi

The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) from Montreal has posted many of the presentations from a Workshop and Conference on Air Transport, Air & Space Law and Regulation that it held in Abu Dhabi on 12-16 April 2009.

From what one can tell from the inevitable .ppt slides, the basics seem to be well covered in the Workshop with, for example, the point being made that the US "open skies" model air services agreement lacks some features such as seventh freedom passenger rights and cabotage so it cannot really be described as totally open.

An interesting presentation from the Conference is that by Alan Khee-Jin Tan from the National University of Singapore on the proposed South East Asian Single Aviation Market.

13 August 2009

Canada concludes "Blue Sky" air transport agreement with South Africa

On 5 August 2009 the Canadian Minister of Transport, John Baird, and Minister of International Trade, Stockwell Day, announced the conclusion of a "Blue Sky" air transport agreement between Canada and South Africa.

Air Canada and South African Airways are both members of the Star Alliance.

The ministerial statement also outlines the progress Canada has made in its air services agreement negotiations since January 2006 (see previous post).

08 August 2009

"Open Sky" from Emirates Airline

I have recently been reading issues of Open Sky, described as "The public affairs journal of Emirates." They are quite thought provoking for those interested in aeropolitics.

As might be expected given its circumstances, Emirates Airline is a strong advocate of market liberalisation.

It is also good to see the airline is now taking a more constructive approach to environment issues than was evident in the past (see previous post).

Air transport and the NZ Consumers Price Index

Buried deep in the revamped Statistics New Zealand web site one can find using Infoshare NEW data series for international and domestic air transport prices, together with road, rail and sea passenger transport prices - look under Economic Indicators: Consumers Price Index: CPI Classes for New Zealand.

I am not sure precisely what of the many thousands of tariffs the statisticians are monitoring to come up with these series. With respect to domestic air travel Price Index News: July 2009 UPDATED does however state:

"The initial impact of a recent new entrant [Jetstar], offering passenger air transport services on several routes within New Zealand, including the main trunk routes between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, will be mostly reflected in the CPI for the June 2009 quarter. Domestic air transport prices are collected monthly, for travel the following month. For example, prices collected in mid-May for travel to be taken in mid-June are included in the May month for CPI purposes. As such, approximately two-thirds of the impact of the introduction will be shown in the June 2009 quarter, with the remainder in the September 2009 quarter. Of the domestic routes tracked for the CPI, flights between the three main centres carry between 50 and 60 percent of the expenditure weight of the domestic air transport index."

Update on NZ international aviation treaties work

The July 2009 International Treaties List published by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade outlines the status of work on air services agreements. It lists Canada, the European Union, South Africa and Turkey as the areas that are under action.

IMO releases report on GHG emissions from shipping

The London-based UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) has released a 287-page Second IMO GHG Study dated 9 April 2009.

"The Study estimated that ships engaged in international trade in 2007 contributed about 2.7 per cent of the world's anthropogenic CO2 emissions and also states that emission reductions are feasible through technical and operational measures as well as through the introduction of market-based reduction mechanisms."

The study was considered by the Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO at its 59th Session held on 13-17 July 2009. The first study was dated 2000.

Our daily commute - New Zealanders' travel patterns

A couple of recent reports focus on the changing travel patterns of New Zealanders.

In August 2009 the Ministry of Transport published a 44-page report, How New Zealanders Travel, based on its Ongoing Household Travel Survey work that started in 1988. One of the notable changes is how fewer children are walking to school. The report also focusses on the safety risks we face when travelling, highlighting the dangers of motorcycling and cycling.

In terms of my personal morning 30km commute, I am in the 1% group that travels by a combination of car, public transport (in my case a train) and walking.

On 6 July 2009 Statistics New Zealand published a report, Commuting Patterns in New Zealand 1996-2006, based on census returns. This focusses on Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Further papers released on 29 July 2009, Workforces on the move and Human capital and commuting to and within the four cities of Auckland, cover similar ground.

The distance of my personal commute is clearly at the high end.

Annual report on New Zealand Energy Greenhouse Gase Emissions

On 21 July 2009 the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development released its annual report on New Zealand's Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Data for domestic and international aviation is in Table 2.3 on page 13.

The international transport emissions are included "for reference only" as there is not internationally agreed methodology for their allocation to individual countries.

A note of caution - there have been questions in the past about the accuracy of the data with respect to aviation.