Brussels, 22nd October 2007
Vice-President Barrot meets India's Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. Patel to strengthen cooperation in civil aviation.
As a follow-up to the successful first EU-India Aviation Summit held in New Delhi in November 2006, Mr. Praful Patel, Minister for Civil Aviation of India is visiting several European institutions on 22-23 October 2007. The visit is being hosted by Mr. Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport. The two sides expressed their shared aspirations driven by their respective policies of promoting safe, open and sustainable aviation relations for the benefit of industry and consumers.
Messrs. Patel and Barrot welcomed the very positive new impetus in EU-India aviation cooperation following the adoption in September 2005 of the overall EU-India "Joint Action Plan" in which civil aviation plays a key enabling role. However, both sides expressed a strong wish for taking EU-India cooperation in civil aviation to a new level by broadening and intensifying cooperation in a wide range of areas.
Progress towards the finalisation of a Horizontal Agreement as well as an agreement on future technical cooperation was welcomed by Vice President Barrot. The Horizontal Agreement will restore legal certainty to the 24 bilateral air services agreements that India has with individual EU Member States thereby creating a sound legal basis for further developing EU-India air transport connections.
A key objective of future technical assistance will be to strengthen the institutional capacity of the civil aviation regulatory authorities of India and to help ensure a safe and secure aviation environment through policy support, pilot projects and targeted training.
During his visit to the EU, Minister Patel will visit the European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne and Eurocontrol in Brussels.