30 November 2009
- Civil Aviation is on the Spotlight Again
- Row erupted in Aviation and Communication Ministry
- "Gross Mismanagement of Public Funds"
- Board of Enquiry
- Minutes of Section Heads Meeting 26 October 2009
By way of background, on 7 August 2009 the Solomon Star reported the appointment of Ben Kere as Acting Director.
Some years ago I had a fascinating discussion of the challenges of civil aviation administration with a previous Director of Civil Aviation from the Solomons. It is not easy.
It can be interesting to read the results of audits done as part of ICAO's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme for countries such as the Solomon Islands (2006 audit 276 page .pdf). Such audit results are available on the Flight Safety Information Exchange web site (optimised for MS Internet Explorer).
In the book Arthur uses a wide definition of "technology" and offers an excellent plain language explanation of its relationship with science and the economy ("The economy is an expression of its technologies."), and the process of innovation that has wide application. His writing benefits from the fact that, as well as being an economist, he trained as an electrical engineer. A particular attraction for me was his use of examples of aeronautical technology.
A review of the book appeared in the New York Times on 19 October 2009 and the American Scientist carried an interview by Greg Ross with Arthur about the ideas.
The book deserves a wider readership.
All three airports are hubs for airlines that have been enjoying a relatively successful year. It remains to be seen what impact Dubai's current financial difficulties will have on traffic at the airport.
A report of reaction in The National dated 26 November 2009 refers to "1970s protectionism".
I was aware of a European law prohibiting fifth freedom price leading by non-EU airlines but had thought that this was limited to flights within the EU. I do not have access to the tariffs article of the Germany-UAE air services agreement which will probably be relevant. I think the current relevant European law is available here but would welcome comments on this.
Enforcing tariff regulation is very hard to do given the thousands of international air tariffs in existence.
However, as with the ICAO treaty collection (DAGMAR), the UN collection is by no means comprehensive with many bilateral air services agreements yet to be filed. It is relatively common for air services agreements to be in operational effect before all constitutional processes have been completed by the parties.
Note that the 850,000 passenger statistic quoted would seem to have been calculated on a full uplift discharge basis rather than using the true origin destination method. Thus sixth freedom transit passengers travelling between New Zealand and Europe through Dubai would seem to be included in this total.
The Air New Zealand criticism referred to was made by its Chief Executive Rob Fyfe in the speech in Hong Kong in which he did not refer to Emirates by name (see previous post).
Emirates Airline is owned by Dubai holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai.
29 November 2009
I took the overall size of each economy as measured in US dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) from the World Factbook published by the CIA on 20 March 2008.
I then took the 100 top airlines in the world as measured by revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) from the August 2008 edition of Airline Business and allocated these airlines to their home countries.
What I came up with were the following RPK:GDP ratios that were greater than 0.1 (number of airlines in brackets if more than one):
0.67 United Arab Emirates (2)
0.33 Ireland (2)
0.26 Hong Kong
0.24 New Zealand
0.16 Australia (3)
0.13 Malaysia (2)
0.13 United Kingdom (9)
0.12 Sri Lanka
That countries in the Gulf region, led by the UAE, came top was no great surprise given recent developments. What I had not expected was that the ratio for New Zealand would be so high.
09 November 2009
In similar circumstances when operating within Australia, New Zealand airlines, such as Airwork and Vincent Aviation, exercising ANZA privileges are already paying a fuel excise.
Earlier the CAA had issued a consultation paper and released a summary of submissions.
This follows the introduction of an Arrangement providing for mutual recognition of safety certification between Australia and New Zealand. This was originally envisaged when the Single Aviation Market was negotiated in 1996.
The ANZA mutual recognition provisions are in Part 1A of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 while the relevant levy-making provisions are in Part 4. The relevant Order in Council (the amended version is not yet available on the web) is the Civil Aviation (Safety) Levies Order 2002.
Media coverage included stories by the Australian correspondent for The Independent and Business Day, Denise McNabb on 23 October 2009 and 2 November 2009, and a story in the NZ Herald on 5 November 2009 which reported that Qantas was "furious".
01 November 2009
A BBC 1 November 2009 report quotes a spokesman for HM Treasury saying: "The government maintains that air travel should pay its fair share in tax. APD is an important contributor to the public finances, while helping the government achieve its environmental goals."
The Observer has a 1 November 2009 report that quotes a survey by YouGov, commissioned by Easyjet, that found that 80% of people believe the system should be reformed. As always with such surveys, it is worth looking at exactly what questions were asked.
With the restart of international air services into Hamilton (HLZ) by Pacific Blue on 1 September 2009, currently New Zealand has six international airports. Air New Zealand plans to start the first trans-Tasman scheduled services into Rotorua (ROT) on 12 December 2009.