The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the government of Mauritius to take a leadership role in fulfilling its Abuja Declaration commitment to recognize the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) in its safety oversight regulatory framework, adding that safety is one of the key elements of a comprehensive aviation strategy.
Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO who spoke at the 50th year of Mauritian independence, says: “The leaders of Mauritius have always understood that air connectivity is vital. As we celebrate the first half-century of the country’s success, let’s keep in mind the critical role that aviation plays as a pillar of the economy. And let’s look to the next fifty years with a comprehensive strategic focus on maximizing the benefits of aviation for this island nation,”
Mr. de Juniac also states: “The key elements of any aviation strategy are safety, global standards, competitiveness and cooperation. But Mauritius and other small island states have a critical competitive advantage in implementing an aviation strategy—and that is size. The country is small enough to rally the aviation universe—the airlines, the airport, the tourism infrastructure—to agree a strategy and to get it implemented quickly and nimbly,”
Mr. de Juniac adds: “The goal of a comprehensive aviation strategy is to enable aviation to drive economic and social development. That will mean a successful future for Air Mauritius—the home-town carrier that serves the market as a lifeline. And it will create opportunities for other carriers to augment the prosperity that aviation brings with robust competition.”
IATA also calls for the establishment of an independent regulator to ensure that infrastructure costs are kept competitive.
Furthermore, IATA urges dialogue with the airlines as Mauritius embarks on a project to more than double the capacity of Sir Seewoosugur Ramgoolam Airport to 9 million passengers annually.
“The airport is probably the most valuable few kilometres of concrete ever poured on this island. The return on the investment for the economy is immense. There must be an open dialogue with the airlines to ensure that development provides sufficient capacity, technical excellence aligned to airline needs and affordable costs,” notes de Juniac.