Saturday, May 14, 2011

AAPA may expand geographical limits to add more members - writes Neelam Mathews

Asian Airlines & Airports
Date Posted: 14 May 2011

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) is prepared to consider the 
possibility of widening its present membership base to include India, Andrew 
Herdman, the trade body's director general told Asian Airlines and Airports.

The AAPA currently limits membership to international airlines based 
within time zones GMT+7 to GMT+12. This does not include India.

“We would be prepared to consider extending that geographic coverage
in the future, and we have spoken in general terms with a number
of Indian carriers in the past. [Besides] AAPA welcomes 
non-member airlines as participants in various AAPA meetings
and events,” adds Herdman.

While Herdman referred to adding Chinese carriers to AAPA,
he did not elaborate.

“As a representative industry trade association, AAPA aims to 
serve the interests of the Asia Pacific airline community, 
and is always keen to expand the membership and activities 
of the Association,” adds Herdman.

While Indian carriers are presently focused mainly on domestic 
issues through the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), with more 
carriers flying abroad, many issues will be common, Herdman says.

Despite Asia Pacific carriers growing the fastest with a present 
overall market share of 28% of global passenger traffic and 
43% of global cargo traffic, there is a wider impact of US 
and EU regulations with the Asia Pacific region having limited influence.

AAPA addresses a wide range of aviation policy and 
regulatory policy issues, engaging with governments and 
regulatory authorities in this and other regions of the 
world, bringing an Asian international perspective. India’s 
increasing role on the world stage could prove a value 
add says an Indian airline spokesman.

“Whilst Asia Pacific airlines are demonstrating strong commercial 
leadership in a competitive global market, we are also keen to 
play a more active role in shaping international aviation policies, 
through engagement with ICAO, and major regulatory authorities
including the US and EU,” says Herdman.

Other issues that Indian carriers could benefit as a result of 
AAPA membership include a regional safety strategy (being 
followed by AAPA) to address mutual challenges of regiona
growth, skills and training demands, runway safety, data 
and information sharing and reinforcing the role of ICAO 
in setting global standards and regulatory oversight.

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