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Brussels, 28 November 2013
EU and Ukraine for a Common Aviation Area Agreement
How will the integration of Ukraine into the EU internal market for aviation operate?
The transition of Ukraine towards this integration involves the effective and full implementation of all EU standards in areas such as aviation safety, security, air traffic management, environment, economic regulation and consumer protection, to be carried out through two transitional periods.
During the first transitional period, Ukraine will be requested to implement all the fundamental related legislation, while the remainder will have to be implemented by the end of the second period.
Compliance by Ukraine with the relevant EU requirements and standards will be gauged by the Commission in the context of assessments, as well as compliance inspections by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as regards aviation safety.
What about market access?
As from the IATA summer season (1) of 2015, all EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Ukraine from anywhere in the EU and vice versa. Ukrainian carriers will be granted, after the end of the second period, the right to operate flights between the EU Member States under the condition that the service serves also a point in Ukraine (i.e. so-called "fifth freedom traffic rights"). Such rights will be also granted to EU carriers, which would be able to operate flights to Ukraine and continuing to any country beyond. Finally, as from the same period, the EU carriers will be allowed to operate cabotage within the Ukrainian territory.
In addition, the two sides will open up investment opportunities in their air carriers by allowing reciprocal majority ownership, which will facilitate the development of airlines and promote the consolidation of the sector.
What kind of commercial opportunities will be provided in addition to traffic rights?
The agreement provides a series of business-related prospects aimed at facilitating the operation of airlines, such as codeshare arrangements, groundhandling, leasing, intermodal transportation, as well as a right for night stops in both parties' airports.
Moreover, the Joint Committee that is established by the agreement to ensure the overall monitoring of the application and functioning of its provisions, is entrusted to deal with any particular business issue.
What about the certification and licensing as regards aircraft, crew and ATM?
The importance of Ukraine as a major aircraft manufacturer and the ensuing extensive know-how in the aviation field are the underlying elements in this area. These features prompted Ukraine to keep its certification responsibilities, even though it will have to apply progressively the provisions relating to the EASA, the EU certification authority. However, the EU is ready to recognise a number of Ukrainian certificates regarding air crew and air traffic management, subject to compliance with the corresponding EU standards.
Are there any prospects for cooperation in the field of type-certification of aircraft?
As a side industrial component and in view of Ukraine's strong interest to ensure in the long run that its aeronautical products are accepted in the EU, the Commission, Ukraine and the EASA will cooperate, via a specific arrangement, to promote the convergence of the Ukrainian certification system with the EU system. This will gradually allow approximation of the respective certification systems to the advantage of the respective aeronautical sectors. Convergence of certification systems could ultimately lead to considering the possibility of a BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) between the two sides, as EU has already concluded with the USA, Canada and Brazil.
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