Parliament approves draft laws for the ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASAs)
The approved Bilateral Air Services Agreements will broaden business activities and permit designated airlines of contracting countries to operate commercial flights that cover the transport of passengers and cargo between Rwanda and those countries.
Explaining to Members of Parliament the relevance of these bills, Minister Gatete clarified that a Bilateral Air Service Agreement or a bilateral Air Transport Agreement is an agreement which two nations sign to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories.
“Due to the interest to promote commercial exchange by using air transport services, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) have concluded and signed Bilateral Air Services Agreement with the other 5 countries to open new air routes for the National carrier RwandAir.
There is no direct financial implications in signing these bilateral air services agreements, except the charges for airports and air navigation services drawn up by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The approved laws allow both parties to the agreement to initiate their operations which will liberalise commercial civil aviation services of passengers and cargo.
The bilateral system has its basis under the Chicago Convention and associated multilateral treaties. The Chicago Convention was signed in December 1944 and has governed international air services since then. This Convention also has a range of annexes covering issues such as aviation security, safety oversight, air worthiness, navigation, environmental protection and facilitation (expediting and departure at airports).
Rwanda has, so far concluded 99 BASAs with several countries of which 57 have been ratified, 11 signed and 31 initialed. This will be a continuous process meant to strengthen cooperation, trade relations and boost tourism sector.