Air Transport World

On having it both ways: the bilateral world must change, countries big and small acknowledged at ICAO's April colloquium on air-transport regulation. But how? Even the vehicle most often mentioned there as a replacement--regional blocs is mistrusted.(Aeropolitics 1992)

The session, purposely designed to be informal and encourage new thinking, attracted 476 participants from 101 countries and 21 organizations. The atmosphere was supposed to be different from official ICAO meetings, where diplomats embellish every word for fear of upsetting bosses at home or colleagues in Montreal. Despite these efforts, the response from most attendees was as expected: Don't change things but if you must, make sure we can continue doing things as now.

Even die-hard fans of the current structure recognize that certain countries are moving beyond it to achieve goals unobtainable under it. Aruna Mascarenhas, Air India's deputy director of planning and international relations, noted that a US-European Community agreement is the product "of special circumstances." The US needs a bigger negotiating partner to gain more efficient operations for its carriers and the EC can't obtain US cabotage without negotiating mass.

Beyond that, most attendees, including the US, took the easy way out. …

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