By Emmie V. Abadilla
The 25th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM) and its associated Dialogue Partner Meetings concluded on Friday (November 15) with the signing of two regional agreements improving ancillary services as well as connectivity.
The first agreement was the protocol to implement the 11th Package of Commitments on Air Transport Services under the ASEAN Framework of Services, to liberalize air transport ancillary services in the region.
The second was Protocol 3 on the Expansion of Fifth Freedom Traffic Rights between Contracting Parties of the ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement at the ASEAN ATM+ China meeting.
This agreement aims to enhance connectivity, as well as promote trade, tourism and investment between ASEAN and China, and eventually adopt the ASEAN-China Open Skies policy in support of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.
The signing ceremonies were then followed by the formal adoption of documents by the transport ministers.
These include the adoption of the Implementing Protocol-1 (IP1) or the Qualification of Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTD) of Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Flight Crew Licensing (MRA on FCL).
This aims to boost aviation industry development and growth within ASEAN, and to better facilitate and support future mutual recognition of flight crew licenses.
The ATM also issued the Declaration on the Adoption of the Implementation Framework of ASEAN Framework Agreement on Multimodal Transport (AFAMT), which is among the key milestones under the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025.
This will support the operationalization of international multimodal transport and full implementation of AFAMT in the region, through the use of a single multimodal transport contract for goods carried by different modes of transport.
The transport ministers also adopted the ASEAN Green Ship Strategy as part of regional association’s effort to curb climate change through reducing emissions from ships, complementing global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.