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ARGENTINA | 10-07-2024 17:48

Milei government targets red tape as it launches aviation deregulation drive

Pilot union announces one-day strike as Argentina’s government announces big changes for airline industry; Reforms designed to “modernise” sector and eliminate red tape for aviation operators.

President Javier Milei’s government has announced sweeping reforms for the air transport sector industry that it says will “modernise” the aviation industry and eliminate red tape.

The changes, introduced by Decree 599/2024 and published on Wednesday in the Official Gazette, met with immediate pushback from labour groups with one pilots union announcing an immediate strike for Friday (July 12).

From now on, new operators will be able to enter the market more easily, the government said in a statement. 

According to the Transport Ministry, the reforms also allow for the digitalisation of procedures, the deregulation of ramp services at airports and streamlining of the process for the awarding of routes and flight schedules.

The measures were pushed by the new Deregulation & State Transformation Ministry now led by Federico Sturzenegger, in coordination with the Transport
Secretariat.

The government said the move will allow small operators greater freedom, avoiding bureaucratic measures that require them to meet the same requirements as a large airline.

“This will allow intermediate cities in the interior of the country, which today do not have direct flights, to access greater connectivity,” according to the Transport Secretariat.

The reform of the aviation code will smooth agreements between firms, so that they can decide the level of cooperation in terms of operations, flight times, routes, resources, flight connections, among other points.

“Unnecessary obstacles are removed, regional and global connectivity of the country and the provinces is promoted, and the principles of free access to markets, fair competition, fare deregulation, and the safeguarding of operational safety, among others, are consolidated,” it added.

The government held that its measures would generate “a greater flow of tourism in Argentina’s provinces, with more competitive fares so that more people can fly.”

“It is the intention of the Executive Branch to increase aerial connectivity both within the country and also with third-party States,” the decree states.

Reacting to its publication, unionised pilots belonging to the Asociación Pilotos de Líneas Aéreas (APLA) announced a one-day strike for Friday (July 12) to demand wage increases.

Government sources, speaking anonymously, told the Noticias Argentinas news agency that rules for the aviation sector had not been properly updated in 70 years. They said the new rules had been worked on in conjunction with more than 80 experts, including representatives from firms from the sector, universities and public-private technical teams.

They also anticipated additional decrees from President Milei to further reform national aviation law. 

Under the new measures, the ANAC national civil aviation body will no longer have to hold public hearings when requests for new flight paths and routes are made by operators, reported Noticias Argentinas.

 

– TIMES/NA/PERFIL

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