Regional air transport has the ability to bring fast economic benefits to both Europe and Russia, but certain obstacles must be removed before progress can be made. Such was the key message from Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), speaking at the EU-Russia Air Transport: New Horizons conference in Brussels yesterday.
“The ability of regional aircraft to use limited terminal infrastructure and to respond quickly to meet new market demands make it the ideal transport mode to serve Russia’s strong emerging market. This, together with the absence of any competing surface system and structure, places regional air transport as the key enabler for growth in this area, and for bringing these growth markets to Europe at a time when the economy is in a downward spiral,” said Ambrose.
Regarding obstacles in the way of progress Ambrose said: “If these opportunities are to be realised, the complexity and bureaucracy of aircraft acquisition procedures in Russia will need to be reduced. The introduction of simple and fast regulatory approval for new routes and operators is also necessary, while an efficient and effective safety oversight must be maintained.”
Highlighting the benefits of regional air services, Ambrose said: “Regional air services increase domestic and international access to regional communities and encourage investment in these areas while allowing greater mobility through reduced travel times.”
“Regional airlines share common interests worldwide and facilitate the exchange of technical and regulatory knowledge, experience and safety information. ERA welcomes and strongly encourages closer links with Russian airlines to further facilitate the opportunities for growth,” Ambrose concluded.