Euromed Common Aviation Area: an economy booster

Interview with Olivier Turcas, Project Leader of the Euromed Project.
olivierturcasOlivier Turcas: Euromed Aviations main mission is to elaborate a Road Map for the implementation of an EMCAA through the establishment of common harmonised aviation regulations and regulatory convergence. It seeks to establish an open, healthy and competitive aviation market, promote improved aviation safety, security and environmental friendliness of air transport and works to boost regional air traffic management cooperation and harmonisation. What actions are carried out to achieve this goal? Eight one-week survey missions have been completed in eight Partners Countries with the purpose of getting a clear picture of the situation in their civil aviation, in comparison to European regulations and standards. An examination and gap-analysis of their existing aviation legislation, regulations, procedures and current practices was carried out. Based on the outcome of these missions, 29 Training courses and 19 Technical Assistance Actions have been defined to address the 5 Project themes plus Civil Aviation Overall Management, which were respectively implemented by International Aviation Training Institutes and 20 senior Aviation Experts between June 2008 and November 2009. A questionnaire was sent to the Partners Countries regarding their preference on the scope of the EMCAA and to evaluate their readiness to enter into negotiations of open sky agreements. Several workshops were held to define steps to be taken at national and re-gional levels, in relation to institutional reforms, market structure aviation safety and security, environment protection and air traffic management.
The Euromed Aviation Projects main mission is to prepare the way for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Common Aviation Area (EMCAA) as decided by the Euro-Med Transport Ministers in 2005 and outlined in the 2007 Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) for the Mediterranean. It aims at elaborating a Road Map for the implementation of the EMCAA.
The EMCAA will have a far-reaching impact on the Partners with benefits not only in the aviation sector, but also the tourism and economic sectors, the project leader Olivier Turcas says in an interview with the ENPI Info Centre.
The creation of an EMCAA implies the adoption of common practises which will undoubtedly result in the improvement of air transport services and the modernisation of air traffic control and safety/security in the Partner Countries. The liberalisation of air transport in the region promises large economic gains, benefits from integrating a larger regional market, new market opportunities will be created along with employment opportunities, while investment in the aviation sector will be enhanced. This will also result in cheaper air travel prices. The accomplishment of the EMCAA objectives will have an impact beyond the transport and economic sectors, enhancing exchanges between both sides of the mediterranean as well as facilitating the reciprocal understanding of cultures and encourage contacts between civil societies. Furthermore, initiatives like this promote human resources specialised training.
This phase of the Project has been easy and has consisted on raising awareness of the EMCAA benefits and on elaborating the Road Map. The biggest challenge is the implementation of the Road Map after its endorsement and securing a political endorsement, i.e. enabling the Partner Countries to obtain the legal, financial, human and technical resources to achieve all the actions identified in the Road Map.
Participating countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey Timeframe 20072010 Budget € 5 million Objectives Its aim is to promote the emergence of a Euro-Mediterranean Common Aviation Area and facilitate any future negotiations of comprehensive Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreements. It also seeks to reinforce air transport cooperation and improve aviation safety and security in the beneficiary countries. Find out more EuroMed Aviation fiche > http://www.enpi-info.eu/mainmed.php?id=40&id_type=10 ENPI Info Centre Transport thematic portal > http://www.enpi-info.eu/thememed.php?subject=8 The ENPI Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Information and Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. The project is managed by Action Global Communications.
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