The International Air Transport Association (IATA) formalized a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani also met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss areas of cooperation between IATA and the Russian Federation.
The MoU outlines specific areas of cooperation with a focus on safety, security, technology, airport infrastructure, air navigation, ground handling and training.
“IATA’s global standards can contribute significantly to the development of safe, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation in Russia. Our MoU gives us a strong framework to contribute to building an even more competitive Russian air transport sector. I was particularly encouraged by President Medvedev who noted that cooperation between the Russian Federation and IATA was a priority,” said Bisignani.
Specific points addressed in Bisignani’s dialogue with President Medvedev included:
• Improving safety: Bisignani complimented the President on progress being made to address significant safety challenges. “After some difficult years, Russia has maintained a perfect safety record in 2009. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is already delivering significant benefit by improving safety. I look forward to exploring ways to expand the use of all IATA’s auditing programs in Russia,” said Bisignani.
• Simplifying the Business: IATA’s Simplifying the Business program aims to improve service levels and reduce costs. “Aeroflot has led the implementation of new technologies for passenger handling in Russia for their international operations. I offered the President IATA’s expertise to help with the implementation of the various Simplifying the Business programs in the domestic market,” said Bisignani.
• IATA e-freight: the processing of goods for export in Russia takes an average of 36 days according to the World Bank. “IATA’s e-freight program can help reduce that closer to the global average of 11 days, but Russia must first ratify the Montreal Convention of 1999 that recognizes electronic invoicing,” said Bisignani.
• Infrastructure charges: Russia has an international obligation to ensure non-discrimination for infrastructure charges. “I urged the President to equalize charges among Russian and foreign carriers,” said Bisignani.
• Bilateral arrangements: Bisignani urged the President to look for opportunities in bilateral air service negotiations with Europe and other countries to eliminate nationality clauses and enable both Russian and non-Russian carriers to engage in cross-border mergers and acquisitions.
• Environment: Bisignani thanked the Russian Federation for its support of a global sectoral approach to manage aviation emission under the auspices of ICAO. “It is important that the Russian Federation continues its strong support of a global sectoral approach for aviation at the COP-15 meeting in Copenhagen next month,” said Bisignani.
“I congratulate the Ministry of Transportation of the Russian Federation on their 200th anniversary. Russia is a rapidly developing its aviation market. Our agreement and today’s meeting open the door to even broader cooperation between Russia and IATA. IATA brings global standards and expertise that will help ensure that Russian aviation continues to develop and improve its competitiveness,” said Bisignani.