Tomas Haupt - Mar 14, 2016
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Aviation Strategy, a new initiative launched to enhance growth for European businesses while providing passengers with safer, cleaner and cheaper solutions to air travel has started delivering its first results. 

After the adaptation of the initiative last year, the EU Commission recommended that the Union starts negotiations on Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements (BASA) with key countries involved in the manufacture of aeronautical components.

The EU member states accepted the recommendations, and the European Commission is set to start negotiations with China and Japan, two important countries when it comes to aeronautical manufacturing. The commission will be supported in its negotiations by the European Aviation Safety Agency, the body that is tasked with aviation safety and aircraft certification in the EU. 

The BASA are air safety agreements signed between the European Union and other countries, which help to foster cooperation in aviation safety through various processes such as certification, licensing of flight crew, air operations, management of airports and air traffic, and maintenance and testing of aeronautical components.

The BASA negotiations with China and Japan are expected to be a major boost to the European Aviation industry, which plays a huge role in the creation of jobs, facilitation, and driving the economic growth of the European Union countries. The industry directly employs nearly 2 million people and indirectly provides jobs for nearly 5.5 million people. This leads to a total contribution of up to €510 billion into the European Union economy, when other related industries such as tourism are included. 

EU has already completed BASA negotiations with other countries such as the USA, Canada and Brazil. If negotiations with China and Japan are concluded successfully, the new agreements will help to reduce bureaucracy in air operations, by reducing the redundancy of aviation oversight activities. The new agreements will also help to improve the support of air safety practices of the respective countries, which will go a long way in enhancing aviation safety across the world. In addition, they will make it easier for countries to export aircraft and other aeronautical components by significantly reducing the cost of transactions. 

With the Asia Pacific region being expected to be one of the largest contributors of air traffic in the coming two decades and China being one of the fastest developing markets for aviation, the new agreements are expected to create a clear regulatory framework, which will help to provide European businesses with better access to the aviation market, create new business opportunities, and create fairness in the market. This will help to increase the competitiveness of the European aviation industry in the world. 

Speaking on the successes made by the new initiative, Violeta Bulc, the European Union Commissioner for Transport, said that she was happy that Aviation Strategy was starting to show early results. She commended the new BASA negotiations between China and Japan, stating that they will lead to more jobs, which will help to improve the economic growth for the European Union.

Ms. Bulc further added that the BASA agreements were just one part of the new policy that has been developed as the result of the Aviation Strategy, and that new and comprehensive aviation agreements between key countries should be expected in 2016. According to her, these new agreements will help to improve the connectivity of the European Union to the world.

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