INTERVIEWS HIGH-LEVEL REGIONAL COOPERATION MEETING 12-14 March 2014 Berovo, Republic of Macedonia
Interview with Mr. Dejan Mojsoski Ph.D., Director General CAA RM
- Mr. Mojsoski, where do you see the perspectives of the Macedonian aviation?
- So the Macedonian aviation is on the right track to achieve a huge leadership in the region especially when we compare the growth. As you know, we have the increase in the traffic and in the number of passengers for 18% last year and we have achieved one million passengers departing from the Macedonian airports. So we saw a good regional cooperation and it is important to be part of the regional perspective and the European perspective in our future collaboration in the aviation field.
- How much the regional cooperation and the cooperation with the aviation authorities in Europe influence the exchange of the experiences and improve the quality of air traffic services?
- As the conclusion of our High Level Regional Cooperation Meeting says we have expressed huge importance in the regional cooperation in the aviation field. This will strengthen the relations between the civil aviation authorities, between the air navigations service providers and between the international aviation communities especially between the organizations as EUROCONTROL, ICAO and ECAC which is the main aviation umbrella and an important part in our support for achieving of the European success.
- Have we managed to bring the Macedonian aviation closer to all classes of citizens, and at the same time to keep the high performances of the prompt, efficient, safe and secure aviation?
- What is more important the Macedonian aviation is going in a right track. As you know the low cost carrier has established a good destination. We saw that lot of Macedonian citizens use air transportation as a very useful model and they can fly cheep to Europe and to the worldwide destinations. Our diaspora has a better connection, the visiting of the relatives and friends is now more asier and the possibility for tourism and the generation for the economic growth and social quality of life are now on a high importance. But now we can say that this is just a first step. We know our performances and the capacity and we know that with a good cooperation between the CAA of the Republic of Macedonia, the Government and the Ministry together with the other relevant aviation organization we can achieve our huge success in the European and worldwide aviation.
- What are the economic impacts on the State from the trend of the development in the Macedonian aviation in which you personally put so much effort?
- So from the economic perspective we saw that the liberalization of the air transport market in the Republic of Macedonia first of all provides a huge number of new destinations, accession in the aviation market by new airlines and also the development of the infrastructural project regarding the airport and creation of new jobs, paving the economic road we can increase the economic activities and we can achieve more benefit to our economy. Concerning the social aspects it is also important to stress that the quality of life for the Macedonian passenger and Macedonian citizen is now more close to the European market, to the European tourist destinations and using those destinations as liaisons they will find some solutions to go worldwide.
Interview with Mr. Frank Brenner Director General, EUROCONTROL:
- Mr. Brenner, аre you satisfied with the trend of development in the Macedonian aviation?;
- I had the chance to visit Macedonia the first time as Director General of EUROCONTROLin February 2013. Since than a lot has happened. The traffic in Macedonia was significantly impacted by the closure of the Kosovo air space. Within that last year we have arrange to prepare all the necessary technical steps in order to have the KFOR Sector going into operations and the Kosovo upper air space being opened. That will have a significant positive effect on the increase in traffic in the area and specifically in the country. For 2014 we anticipate following EUROCONTROL simulations that 15% traffic increase is absolutely foreseeable. Only that was possible due to a great cooperation with the CAA of the country and M-NAV – the service provider of Macedonia. We have implemented in cooperation with the country in EUROCONTROL being prepared between 2008 and 2013, 24 airspace design improvement packages. All these are very important in order to support the significant traffic increase that we all expect and in order to continue the brilliant performance that M-NAV is providing to the airspace users. I’ll give you just two examples: M-NAV prepared and implemented night free route airspace which happened in March 2013 and the full free airspace is being planned now for 2015 so that is only a few months away. And we want once again to say the good cooperation also gave us the occasion of a great celebration in EUROCONTROL in December last year where we had the anniversary of the 15th years of membership of Macedonia in EUROCONTROL.
- How much the regional cooperation and the cooperation with EUROCONTROL in general influence the exchange of experiences and improve the quality of air traffic services in Europe and beyond?;
- We see there is a huge benefit. ATM is becoming much more interrelated in Europe and the interoperability in air traffic management is becoming more and more vital. We do not only see that on the European level. We see that on the global level. This is why Europe is so much engaged in the work of ICAO in Montreal. The International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO in Montreal has put up plans, global air navigation plan and block upgrades of performance improvement. Europe is very actively engaged in helping these global developments and bringing its European share to it. We need to address the fragmentation and we need to address the inherent inefficiencies in Europe that go with the current fragmentation. We have 40 Member States in EUROCONTROL with operating between 60 and 80 centres depending whether you count the militaries as well. We need to overcome fragmentation by closer cooperation. EUROCONTROL has developed the concept of some centralized services to be operated on a central pan- European level for all 40 EUROCONTROLMember States in order to increase the efficiency and at the same time to reduce fragmentation. These ideas are great news and they are great opportunities for service providers like M-NAV to cooperate with others and to actually participate in the central service provision of these pan-European functions.
- Do you expect as an Organization in joint efforts to overcome the challenges related to the designated air space over Kosovo?;
- We all need to work hard and I think we have worked hard. If you look at how long an ATM Project lasts and what the achievements might be to achieve the opening of such an air space that has been blocked for more than 15 years now in only one year of intensive technical work it really shows the real cooperation of all affected parties. Without that it would not have been possible. And it also needs to be remembered that the air space that we now open is only a part of a network structure. So it’s not only the opening of that airspace it is preparing the surrounding countries in order to cater technicly but also operationally for that additional traffic flows to go trough the region. And we will see expected traffic increase that not only M-NAV but also the neighbouring of service providers will have to handle reducing the routes and reducing the CO2 emissions.
- How much the opening of this aviation bottleneck will affect the increase of the capacity of overflight and the charges in regard to the use of the European airspace?
- EUROCONTROL has done some simulations what could be the effects and the good news is aviation in Europe is growing again, so we are a grooming industry in the future. So the question will be how will now the area be affected with the opening of the KFOR sector and the Kosovo upper air space. We estimate that about 370 000 nautical miles per year can be saved which are 685 000 km trough the shorter routings we now can offer. And that equals to 24 000 tones of fuel that do not to be burned any more flying around. And these fuel burned that can be saved equals to 75 000 tones of CO2 less emissions. So more direct routes are possible and more direct routes means generally lesser charges and lesser expenses for the aircraft operators. So, that’s brilliant news for the them. The reduction for Europe as a whole is 0.02 which seams very small but when you look at the overall system in Europe. But we are currently trying to bring down the horizontal route extension from 5.11 % to 4.7%. So 0.02% Kosovo adds to it is a significant gain and we are very happy with it.
Interview with Mr. Luis Fonseca de Almeida, Regional Director ICAO EUR/NAT Office:
- Mr. Almeida, you are visiting the Republic of Macedonia for the first time. Did you have any previous knowledge about our country? Who we are, what aviation capacity do we have at our disposal?;
- Well I am visiting for the first time the Republic of Macedonia, indeed. But it does not mean that I had no knowledge about your country. In my previous capacity as ECAC President from 2007 to 2010, I had very close relationship with the Macedonian delegations. Basically at the international level. So, I can say that I had a very good general idea about your country but of course with my first visit now I can get more detailed information an know better your civil aviation sector. And by the way thank you very much for the invitation to come.
- Are you satisfied from the trend of the development in the Macedonian aviation during the recent years, in respect of the achievements of the criteria imposed by your Organization in terms of safe, secure, regular and efficient international air traffic, based on the principles of equality and uniformity of all its participants?
- Well as you know aviation is by definition international. So it is a global activity and I must recognize that Republic of Macedonia is a new country and during the last years I think that I can say that it did in fact a lot of work. But it does not mean that everything is done. In aviation we are permanently building things, we are permanently with new ideas. And for example, the last ICAO Assembly decided about five new strategic objectives. So everybody has a big challenge in order to follow this new five strategic objectives. By the way safety, aviation security and facilitation, air transport development, environmental protection and also air navigation efficiency. So it’s a huge workload that we have to do in the next triennium. And Macedonia as a new country has a big challenge but it does not mean that it is not going well. Opposite you are going very well but we must keep these efforts in order to continue close to the international organization like ICAO. And I think that we will be successful together. I am sure.
- How much the cooperation with your Organization in general influence the exchange of experiences and improve the quality of air traffic services in Europe and beyond?;
- Well you know that we used to say that ICAO is the global regulator so ICAO is regulating the main aspects of the international civil aviation including the air navigation services. So its important for every ICAO Member State to comply with our standards our provisions and at the regional level we have I think a very good team in terms of expertise and we are in Paris as the ICAO Regional Office for Europe and North Atlantic. We are there to support, to assist the states in order to help every state to implement the international standards. So I think and repeating again, I think that together we will do everything that we must do. But, I must confess that the main responsibility is for the states. We are there just to help and to assist you.
- Where do you see the perspectives of the Macedonian aviation in the forthcoming period?
- Well today, we heard about the future from several speakers during our meeting and I know that we know that we have a very good reasons to be optimistic in terms of growth of traffic in terms of safety, security and so on. But of course your country, the Republic of Macedonia must be closer and closer to the regional and international organizations in order to go on this very good work which was done in the past in order to get the advantages from the international system and in particular from the regional aviation system. I am sure that you will go on that way.
Interview with Mr. Catalin Radu, President of ECAC:
- Mr. Radu, ECAC is an Organization composed of 44 Member States, including the Republic of Macedonia. What is your opinion of the current situation of the Macedonian aviation?;
- Thank you very much. First of all let me express my deepest feelings about your invitation and it is a very important event for us. We promote amongst our 44 Member States of ECAC the regional cooperation but it is very important to see that in this field of regional cooperation, Member States come together and promote themselves the initiative that brings some added value to our overall aspects of civil aviation. In this context let me say that the Macedonian Civil Aviation is not a new player in our ECAC field. You know that you have already 20 years of experience when you first set it up the Civil Aviation Agency and a long standing member of ICAO, ECAC, EUROCONTROL, you have several working arrangements with EASA and you are member of the ECAA. So from this point of view you are big player, one of the big player of our Organization and we are very happy to see that today you put one more step forward in designing and putting together the Member States of the Balkan Region.
- Are you satisfied with the cooperation of the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of Macedonia and ECAC?;
- Of course, your Director General Mr. Dejan Mojsoski is a very active person during our meetings and it’s important that from this point of view your participation brings some added value to our meetings. It important also because at this level of Director Generals you have a voice and it is not always just the Macedonian voice but it also the Balkan voice. And from this point of view we really feel the added value bring by your Director General and from this point of view I think that the Civil Aviation Agency of Macedonia is an important player and could help us for the future to bring some added value to our Organization.
- How much the regional cooperation and the cooperation with your Organization in general influence the exchange of experiences and improve the quality of air traffic services in Europe and beyond?;
- ECAC is a long standing Organization while established one starting we have started the set up the Organization in 1955. Next year we will have 60 year of existence. During this period, we tried to promote the things that will help the civil aviation. I remember that the time we were the first that put the basis of the creation of EUROCONTROL at least at the latest period we were involving the creation of the revised convention of the EUROCONTROL. We had a lot of initiative in terms of safety like SAFA, like also 20 years of SAFA. This year we established JAA, after that the JAA was took over by the European Commission transformed in EASA. So a lot of initiative which brought steps forwards in the promoting and improving of the civil aviation. And from this point of view we are considering that in our ECAC Forums we can bring added value also in air navigation and because not only at our level nowadays EUROCONTROL presents 40 Member States. We are 44 but also in the exchange and in the our discussion with other sister organizations worldwide we can promote our way to do things and from this point of view I think that we have manage to have some added value also at this level.
- Where do you see the prospects for the development of the Macedonian aviation in the context of cooperation?
- I think that you have good opportunities to set up new improvements in all area that you are working in, and I am talking about improving always because the goal of all Member States of ECAC to improve their performance. We expect that Macedonia will also follow this pace with increasing of the results obtained after the audits of USOAP, USAP and the one made by other organization. We expect that people from your country, experts from your country will participate actively in our working groups, in our processes to define new ideas for the benefit of all Member States. And I am sure that the Macedonian civil aviation will bring a lot of added value to our European common approaches and I am sure that at this level we can really manage to have some good opportunities to work with you in a coordinated way and manner.