ASEAN-STOM to recommend signing of Multilateral Agreement on Full Liberalization of Air Freight Services
Cebu City (29 May) -- ASEAN senior transport officials agreed in pushing for the recommendation to sign the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalization of Air Freight Services and Air Services as the three-day 25th ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) reached its conclusion today at the Mactan Shangri-la Resort and Spa in Lapulapu City, Cebu.
The senior transport officials among the 10-member ASEAN nations will endorse the signing of the ASEAN multilateral agreement to the ASEAN transport leaders who will be meeting during the 14th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting in November, this year in Manila in time with the implementation of the regional integrated air transport services by December 2008.
The multilateral agreements affirms the policy for progressive implementation of full liberalization and integration of air services in ASEAN as laid down in the Action Plan for ASEAN Air Transport Integration and Liberalization adopted at the 10th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting on November 2004 in Phnom Penh, Vietnam.
The move to liberalize passenger and cargo air services in the ASEAN region is intrinsically crucial in achieving integrated ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 that will provide an essential component of the transport network to facilitate the movement of people and goods among the 10 ASEAN member-states and in establishing closer relations with ASEAN key external partners.
The multilateral agreements will likewise provide for an unlimited 5th freedom rights passenger services between capital cities in ASEAN.
The multilateral agreements will be signed on the desire of ASEAN to remove restrictions, on gradual basis, so as to achieve flexibility and capacity in the operation of air freight services and air services in ASEAN with a view to build a single unified aviation market by 2015.
MOU signing on cooperation in aircraft accident and investigations
This morning also witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigations among authorities of ASEAN member countries responsible for the investigation of aircraft accident and incident.
The MOU aims to enhance the capabilities and professionalism of their respective aircraft investigators, and strengthen, promote and develop cooperation to enhance aviation safety.
The signing of the MOU reaffirms the objective enshrined in Annex 13 to the Convention of International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) that the sole objective of the investigation of an aircraft accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents and that it is not the purpose of the investigation activity to apportion blame or to provide a means of determining guilt.
Under the MOU, the participating countries will cooperate in aircraft accident and incident investigation, investigation training and sharing of information and expertise, consistent with the Standards and Recommended Practices, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, contained in the Chicago Convention.
Among the salient provision of the MOU is that the participating country will offer assistance and the use of air safety investigation manpower, facilities and equipment to the other signatory country which may include expertise in the fields of air traffic services, engineering, operations flight recorders, human performance and management organization.
The signing of the MOU shows the common interest of the ASEAN countries in establishing a lasting framework for cooperation in the area of aircraft and incident investigation. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) (PIA-MMIO) [top]