ASEAN reached another significant milestone in its on-going ASEAN Community building process, with the realisation of open skies for the ASEAN market through the full ratification of the ASEAN open skies agreements.
In line with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community on 31 December 2015, the air transport sector in the ASEAN region, which is widely recognised as the very basis of the ASEAN economic development and integration given its integral function in the movement of goods and people, has increasingly become an important mode to provide greater support in binding the ASEAN Member States and in building the ASEAN Economic Community that is so vital for the future of the ASEAN peoples.
The ASEAN open skies agreements, consisting of a set of multilateral agreements on liberalisation of air freight and passengers services, are a critical element in the establishment of an ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM). Under these agreements, there will be greater regional and domestic air transport connectivity which will facilitate greater growth of the aviation industry, the tourism sector, as well as of the whole regional economy. In addition, consistent with the vision of ASAM and the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025, ASEAN Member States are working towards advancing safer and more secure skies, enhancing traffic management efficiency and capacity through a seamless ASEAN sky, and fostering greater air connectivity including the conclusion of aviation agreements with Dialogue Partners. All of these will contribute towards deeper ASEAN integration, as it enters the next phase of consolidation as a dynamic and open ASEAN Community.
ASEAN Secretariat News|April 2016