Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that he is planning to meet with the European Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajini in Rome on November 30 to progress on reaching an open skies agreement with the European Union, as well as setting a global framework for managing the aviation industry’s carbon emissions.
Minister Albanese said that negotiations on a historic air services agreement with the EU have been ongoing since June. “Achieving such an outcome would remove many of the existing regulatory limitations on Australian and European airlines operating between our two continents, allowing them to offer more flights and a wider range of services at the most competitive prices,” he added.
“In addition to access and capacity rights, the agreement we’re seeking would provide a basis for enhanced cooperation in the areas of aviation safety and security, competition law and environmental protection.”
Also high on Minister Albanese’s agenda will be discussing ways for Australia and the EU to work together to address aviation carbon emissions ahead of the UNFCC conference in Copenhagen during December, with talks likely to focus on carbon trading schemes. Unlike the Rudd government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the EU will force all international airlines operating flights to member states to pay for carbon permits, which has drawn criticism from a number of airlines including Qantas.