IATA calls for Colombian policy liberalization
In order for Colombia to continue to compete in the aviation sector, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos must implement infrastructure improvements and government policies, according to Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transportation Association.
Liberalization of government policies, a thorough review of the master plan at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport and an overhaul to the country's air traffic management system would greatly improve the country's aviation status. By having more liberal policies, carriers would be more open to mergers, which would in turn lead to stronger industry growth. Bisignani also said there is room for a 30 percent increase in capacity if air traffic management at the Bogota airport was improved.
“Colombia is one of Latin America’s most vibrant economies with a fast-growing aviation sector. To take this growth forward requires a strategic vision," Bisignani said. "This vision must be supported by strong government policies to improve aviation’s competitiveness and to facilitate profitable growth with greater liberalization and infrastructure improvements."
President Santos had previously outlined a four-year plan for the industry, calling to increase international arrivals from 2.8 million people to 4 million people a year, improve Colombia's tourism status and to double the number of domestic seats available. These are fine goals, Bisignani said, but more must be done.
"Clearly the president understands this industry’s ability to be a catalyst for economic growth," he said. "Many existing policies have created great opportunities for Colombian aviation. But some areas do require major changes."