ArmInfo. EU Common Aviation Area may soon be opened for Armenia, on 1 December 2016 the Council adopted a mandate that will allow the Commission to start negotiations on a comprehensive air transport agreement with Armenia.
According to the EU statement received by ArmInfo, comprehensive EU-level aviation agreements aim to increase Europe's international connectivity, ensure a high-quality service and more choice for the passengers, and boost the international competitiveness of the EU's aviation industry.
The agreement with Armenia will take the form of a Common Aviation Area Agreement, since Armenia is one of the countries with which the EU is creating closer ties under its neighbourhood policy.
"Nowadays, we can hardly imagine travel without aviation. Aviation agreements are great means to enable Europe to tap into the growth markets elsewhere and to connect the EU directly to other regions. I warmly welcome the Council?s green light today to open negotiations with Armenia. Once negotiated, the agreement will promote a vibrant exchange of travellers, lower prices and ensure new business opportunities for our companies. It will be a great example of cooperation between the EU and Armenia in the context of the Eastern Partnership," Arpad Ersek, Slovak Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development and Chair of the Council stated.
The Commission will carry out these negotiations on behalf of the EU and its member states.
To note Europe's safe and stable air zone was remaining close for Armenia for a long time. The dates for Armenia's joining "Common Aviation Zone" have been postponed several times. In December 2015 Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia during the meeting with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated that Armenia is ready to sign Common Aviation Area Agreement with the EU. Within the recent months Yerevan has repeatedly stressed its interest in soonest launch of negotiations.
According to the procedure as soon as the European Commission receives mandate it will be authorized to start negotiations with Yerevan, Armenia will be given the draft agreement, which will be the basis of the negotiations. According to the officials in Armenia the negotiations will not last long, as there already exists the model format of cooperation with all the countries.
The document will lift the restrictions on the flights of foreign airline to Armenia and the Armenian ones to the EU countries. This will help offering conditions that are more attractive to European companies in Armenia and in the Armenian town of Gyumri. In addition, liberalization will ensure fair competition at the international level, through state support and regulation of standards. From Eastern Partnership countries Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have jointed the common European aviation area. By joining European Common Aviation Area Armenia will receive an opportunity to integrate into European aviation market, and become an important transit country in air transport.