26 September 2010

ICAO Assembly to debate US proposal on mechanism to liberalise restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines

The triennial International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly is about to start in Montreal and will run from 28 September to 8 October 2010.

Of particular interest from an aeropolitical perspective will be the debate in the Economic Commission under agenda item 49 "Liberalization of international air transport services" on working paper A37-WP/190 "Facilitating airline access to international capital markets" presented by the United States. This paper also presents a draft multilateral agreement (see previous post). It will be very interesting to see whether the ICAO membership is prepared to take up this initiative and work on it.

Under the same agenda item, there is also a reference in paragraph 2.3 in working paper A37-WP/5 "Developments in international air transport regulation and liberalization" from the Council of ICAO to research carried out by the Secretariat quantifying liberalisation of international air services arrangements. However, I have not seen whether this research has been made public. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has already done comprehensive work in this area (see previous post).

Environmental issues too can be expected to be the subject of attention at this Assembly although I would not expect that member states will be prepared to take a different approach at ICAO on the issue of addressing climate change from that they take in other fora, notably the UNFCCC.

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