CEPA asks for a unified system in European aviation
More liberal and unified regulation would benefit Europe’s aviation industry, according to the participants of the “Davos of Central Europe” economic forum, being held in Krynica, Poland.
During the forum’s aviation panel, organised by CEPA, the participants took the opportunity to discuss the outlook for the industry and its future challenges.
“The European Union’s regulation should be more liberal,” said Rafal Baniak, the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Treasury. Dagmar Grossmann, the founder of CEPA, also supported this view.
“Air traffic and aviation regulations should run under common laws and bring tighter European unification, which would result in reduced costs and increased international transparency,” Grossmann explained during the forum’s aviation panel.
The need for reform and greater transparency in general was a recurrent theme during the Economic Forum. “Reforms are necessary to increase the transparency of the fiscal system in Poland; we must also maintain absorptive internal market in Poland,” said Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski in his opening speech.
“Central and Eastern Europe is without a doubt one of the regions that has made the best recovery out of the recent recession, not only because of the low labour costs, high-quality technicians and a central location that are its hallmark, but also due to its moderate investment culture,” said Grossmann.
According to Grossmann the whole idea of “Eastern Europe” as a region with troubled economies that pose a threat to the rest of the European Union, is out of date. The statistics show that the expected average annual growth forecasted until 2018 is higher for countries in Eastern European zone.
“Poland’s forecast is optimistic and foresees an optimistic growth in air traffic projected until 2017,” agreed Krzysztof Banaszek, president of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency. This positive outlook is also reflected in the plan to open a second airport in Lublin, Poland, by the end of this year.
Jan Pamula, the president of the Board of the John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice, questioned whether it was a good idea to launch a second or new airport, because the maintenance cost of the building is also an issue, not only its construction. “Airlines are not all coming into Poland to commute,” he said, but added that competition is always good since it pushes rivals to make improvements.
“It is not all about the airlines,” pointed out Brendan Lodge, CEPA chairman. “Aviation also brings business all year round on maintenance services, refurbishment, catering, and air traffic control.”
In general, the forecast for Central and Eastern European’s private aviation is also encouraging because small aircraft operators can capitalise on the lack of good land infrastructure in the region. “Major carriers neglect a millionaire’s market because connections between cities are not convenient or not in a good shape in the region,” explained Baniak.
Photograph: Brendan and Dagmar pictured at the forum.