ICAN 2016 opens way for bi- and multilateral air service negotiations


(Posted 08th December 2016)

Among many countries represented in Nassau / Bahamas for the weeklong 09th ICAN meeting, short for International Civil Aviation Organizations Negotiations Conference, are a number of African CAA’s.
Notably are the Seychelles represented by Mr. Gilbert Faure, CEO of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and accompanied by a team of negotiators on BASA’s from Victoria, among them Ms. Alexandria Faure, Air Seychelles’ Aeropolitical and Government Affairs Manager; Ms, Florence Marengo, SCAA’s Head of Air Transport and Ms. Thelma Dubignon, SCAA’s Air Transport Assistant.

The one week meeting, which started yesterday, brings together delegations from over 100 ICAO member countries across the globe in this one meeting point, where they will be able to conduct multiple bilateral negotiations to discuss the commercial legal framework that is facilitating air access, commonly known as the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA’s).

One of the major topic of discussion during this event is how the regulatory regime promoting air transport liberalisation contribute to the growth of tourism in Small Island States like the Bahamas and Seychelles. Delegations from all over the world will be able learn about the current trends, discuss and exchange experiences, and network to enhance the business opportunities relating to air transport matters.

The Seychelles’ delegation will conduct bilateral negotiations with approximately 20 countries of strategic importance. Discussions will focus on the air services regime and how to reach an agreeable framework which will enable the future growth of the industry. During the course of the week, Seychelles will have bilateral negotiations with Turkey, Qatar, India, Mauritius, Poland, Canada, Nigeria, Albania, and Moldova amongst several others.

Mr. Alain St. Ange, the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine said that it is an excellent opportunity for Seychelles. ‘Air transport is the conduit of over 90% of tourism flow to Seychelles, which means that we rely on the air services arrangements to boost growth in this mainstay industry for Seychelles. The air services conditions needs to create an enabling environment that meets the modern requirement of commercial airline operation for the safe, secure and reliable air transport system. Seychelles has an air transport policy in place to guide us in this area. It is in this spirit that in collaboration with partner countries we plan to boost air access potential for our own Air Seychelles as well as all other airlines because all countries will gain from the associated socio-economic benefits‘.

Notably has not one of the African countries regularly reported about shared any information about their presence in Nassau, not any of the other Vanilla Islands in the Indian Ocean and for sure not the Ugandan CAA but neither the authorities from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania or even Zambia or Zimbabwe, a lost opportunity to drum up PR support for their causes and negotiations.