Regional aviation framework could contribute US$100 billion to economy in 2030: Report

NOVEMBER 16, 2018 - 9:44 PM

SOUTH-EAST Asia’s aviation industry could contribute nearly US$100 billion a year to the regional economy if the Asean Single Aviation Market is brought to fruition, according to a new report from a Malaysian think-tank.

Asean must push ahead with mutual recognition agreements on flight crew licensing because of the need for free movement of professionals, wrote Adli Amirullah, research coordinator for the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) economics and business unit.

The institute also recommended that Asean members work towards a regional safety and oversight office, give states open access to one another’s aviation information, and prioritise the full implementation of a network of Asean carriers.

The proposed changes would scrap individual states’ ability to deny access to other member states’ carriers, and could relax foreign ownership rules to let other Asean states hold majority stakes in each country’s non-national airlines.

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Singapore law professor Alan Tan, in another paper published by Ideas, had previously mooted the concept of regionwide community carriers in the Asean bloc, similar to an industry set-up in the European Union.

Mr Adli calculated that more than one million jobs would be added across the region if projected future demand for air transport is met by 2030, while South-east Asia’s aviation-related economic output would grow to US$100 billion, from US$38.7 billion in 2014.

“These economic benefits only account for the contribution of a larger air transport sector,” he wrote.

“They do not include the significant potential benefits that would arise from the increased trade, investment, tourism and productivity that would follow growth in passenger and cargo demands.”