ICAO’s SAM and NACC contribute to LACAC air cargo liberalisation agreement development
The LACAC multilateral agreement to liberalise the region’s air cargo services will have an immediate impact on pandemic response and recovery.
As part of their regional strategies for COVID-19 response and aviation recovery, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) two Regional Offices for the Americas – the South American Regional Office (SAM) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Office – have contributed to the development and emergence of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC)’s new multilateral agreement to liberalise air cargo services in the region.
The agreement comes into effect immediately among its 10 signatories and establishes expanded traffic rights – so-called ‘seventh freedom’ traffic rights – that permit airlines from one LACAC Member State to provide all-cargo services between two other signatory States without restrictions on routes and capacity.
The 10 states involved are: Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
“COVID-19 has imposed significant constraints on the entire air transport industry, and enterprises of all sizes are re-evaluating their business models,” noted ICAO’s Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu. “To remain flexible and responsive to the countries’ needs, ICAO is adapting global regulatory approaches where this can aid pandemic response and global recovery efforts.”
The agreement will remain in effect for one year, until 31 December 2021, and can be extended for a further year, at the discretion of LACAC States.
Besides its immediate impacts in terms of pandemic response and recovery, ICAO encourages other countries to view it as a significant step in advancing the ‘ICAO Long-Term Vision for International Air Transport Liberalization’.
“Our hope would be to see this regional development evolve into a more permanent and global agreement, enabling more liberalised and sustainable 21st century air services,” Liu emphasised. “In the near-term, it should help increase the efficiency of vaccine distribution and, in the longer term, it should enable air cargo and, in particular, e-commerce to play even more important parts in regional economic recovery and development. I strongly encourage other States and Regions to take similar action.”