The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the Romanian government to focus on aviation competitiveness as a means to strengthen the economy of Romania.

Air transport in Romania supports 107,000 jobs and contributes €2.3 billion to the economy. In 2017, 10 million passengers departed from Romania’s airports but this could rise by 50% by 2037, supporting an additional 23,000 jobs, if Romania enhances the conditions on which its aviation sector can be competitive.

IATA published a competitiveness report on Romanian aviation, which shows a gap between the nation’s competitiveness level (ranked at 4.7) and the overall European average (ranked 5.9). Based on the report findings, IATA highlighted passenger facilitation, expanded terminal capacity and reduced infrastructure costs as three priority areas.

In addition, airspace modernization is identified as a crucial element to support future growth and efficiency.

Airspace modernization

Efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM) is a bedrock of a high-performance aviation sector. To complement the long-term aim of a Single European Sky to improve the safety, capacity, efficiency, and environmental performance of European airspace, IATA is working with several air navigation service providers on a National Airspace Strategy (NAS).

Romania has a great opportunity to transform its aviation sector if the right policy levers are pulled

At the Romanian Aviation Day on April 12, the Romanian government announced that it would back the development of a NAS to support more efficient capacity in Romania and to help deliver Single European Sky objectives.

Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration (ROMATSA) and IATA will strengthen their existing cooperation for this initiative, which is aimed at delivering benefits to the travelling public and the wider aviation community, while supporting the economic growth and competitiveness of the Romanian aviation sector.

The main aspects of the strategy cover leadership and a collaborative stakeholder approach, airspace management, and technical modernization of the ATM system.

Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe, said: “Romania has a great opportunity to transform its aviation sector if the right policy levers are pulled. Our recommendations are, first, to promote innovative technology and processes to move passengers quickly. Second, to invest in more capacity at airports and in air traffic management. And third, to ensure infrastructure charges are set in transparent consultation with users. If Romania can take these steps, its economic and social development will gain significantly from enhanced air connectivity.

“The commitment to develop an NAS shows that the government is already taking the necessary steps to enhance the nation’s aviation competitiveness. Optimizing Romania’s airspace will not only benefit Romania but the wider European network. We congratulate ROMATSA for its vision, and look forward to working with them to make airspace modernization a success.”