Brussels, 21 May 2010
Vice-President Kallas leads high-level delegation to the EU–Latin America civil aviation summit
The EU–Latin America civil aviation summit will take place in Rio de Janeiro on 25 and 26 May 2010. The event is jointly organised by the European Commission, the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil and the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission. It aims to enhance political, technical and industrial co-operation between Latin America and the EU in the aviation sector. Latin America is one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets and of strategic importance to the EU and its industry.
“The EU and Latin America have much to gain from closer cooperation in meeting the significant challenges facing air transport in the coming years”, said Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport. “The EU-Latin America Civil Aviation Summit is an excellent opportunity for bringing together top-level policy makers and industry executives in order to identify priority areas for enhanced co-operation”.
The Summit will be opened by Vice-President Siim Kallas, Mr José Blanco, Spanish Minister for Transport and Public Works, representing the EU Presidency, Mr. Nelson Jobim, Minister for Defence of Brazil, and Mr José Huepe Pérez, President of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission. The European delegation includes some 100 representatives from airlines, airports, aerospace industries, service providers, national governments, the European Commission and all key EU institutions in the field of aviation. In total, more than 300 delegates will attend the summit. A parallel exhibition on EU and Latin American aviation opportunities and co-operation is also being organised.
The main issues to be addressed during the summit include:
•Removing barriers to air transport in the EU and Latin America
•Developments in the airline industry in Latin America and the EU
•Safety and security – challenges and potential for cooperation
•Air traffic management and new technologies
•Environmental implications of air transport
•Airport infrastructure and airport policy
•Economic and social dimension of aviation
•Future EU–Latin America co-operation in civil aviation including technical assistance and industrial co-operation
During his visit to Brazil, Vice-President Kallas will also have bilateral meetings with a series of Latin-American leaders and executives in the air transport sector. A number of agreements aimed at enhancing EU–Latin America and bilateral EU–Brazil cooperation in aviation are expected to be endorsed at the aviation summit.
Air transport is vital for EU–Latin American relations both for trade and people-to-people contacts. EU–Latin American air transport has grown significantly in recent years, with a doubling of passengers between 1997 and 2008. The Latin American air transport market is forecast to be among the fastest growing in the world over the next 20 years, both within the region and for long-haul flights to and from the EU. More than 20 million passengers a year are currently travelling on direct flights between Latin America and the EU.