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File photo / João de Abreu, chairman of IACM, Mozambique Civil Aviation Institute
The Mozambique Civil Aviation Institute, the regulatory body for Mozambican aviation, has insisted that the country’s airspace is already liberalised, and there is no reason to accuse the IACM of creating obstacles for new operators entering the market.
Claims have been made regularly that the publicly owned Mozambique Airlines (LAM) enjoys a protected position, and that the authorities are preventing competition. But speaking at a Maputo press conference on Tuesday, the IACM chairperson, Joao de Abreu, categorically denied this.
He said the only demands made of air companies wishing to enter the Mozambican market is that they must comply to the full with the norms and requirements in force for civil aviation, particularly safety norms. The IACM would not allow any passengers to fly under conditions that risked their lives.
He admitted that there is a general perception among the public that Mozambican airspace is not liberalised “but it’s not true. In 2008, Mozambique began to open gradually its air space, beginning with regional and international flights”.
Now there was full liberalisation, and the regulator should not be blamed for companies not taking advantage of this. He suggested the lack of other operators, competing with LAM, was a question that should be asked of air companies, not of the regulator.
It was true that, before it could operate any flights a company must meet a number of requirements, including for certification and licensing, and Abreu pointed out that many of these requirements are demanded by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They are international norms, and are not specific to Mozambique.
“It’s difficult to say why businesses don’t want to enter the market. But we are ready”, said Abreu.
He added that some companies had expressed an interest – but no far none of them have gone beyond the preliminary stages of applying for a licence. “We wasted a lot of time analysing documents and conditions”, said Abreu, “but afterwards nothing happened”.Source: AIM