27 March 2011

ASEAN moves towards a Single Aviation Market

I have been trying to disentangle the progress being made by the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) towards an ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM) by 2015 and related engagement with dialogue partners. What follows are some key source documents.

On 11 November 2010 in Brunei ASEAN Transport Ministers jointly announced progress towards "open skies".

This included signing the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services (MAFLPAS). This has a Protocol 1 [link?] and a Protocol 2.

This new agreement extends the 2009 ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services (MAAS), which does not cover all international airports within ASEAN.

The MAFLPAS also compliments the 2009 ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services (MALAFS).

Also signed in Brunei on 12 November 2010 was a Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN's Air Services Engagement with Dialogue Partners. This is designed to ensure that priority is given to committing to the ASEAN internal air transport market ahead of any air transport agreements with ASEAN's dialogue partners.

Australia has funded two major research projects through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) focusing on the ASEAN air transport market that also provide useful background on other regional efforts around the world:
Earlier research included:
As reported by The China Post on 9 May 2010 Indonesia does not seem to have bought into the 2015 deadline for ASAM. This is reflected in its lack of ratifications by some member states to the key ASEAN air transport agreements.

In an earlier post I noted that progress was being made towards an ASEAN agreement with China. The Air Transport Agreement (Protocol 1) was announced in Brunei on 12 November 2010. The Agreement is limited to an exchange of third/fourth freedom rights with officials to pursue an exchange of fifth freedom rights. However, given the size of the two air transport markets and their expected rapid growth in coming decades this may turn out to be the beginnings of one of the major global moves towards air transport liberalisation, akin to the economic deregulation of the air transport markets within the United States and the European Union.

India too has been working towards a closer air services relationship with ASEAN announcing on 7 November 2008 an aviation cooperation framework.

I am still looking for a good write up of what has been happening within ASEAN but see some parallels in the staged approach to the deregulation of the air transport market adopted by the European Union and the Pacific Islands.

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