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EU agrees for common airspace

EU signed an agreement with nine countries, as well as the UN mission to create a common aviation area.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 18:45 IST

The European Union on Friday signed an agreement with nine countries, as well as the UN mission in Kosovo, to create a common aviation area in a move hailed as boosting European economic and commercial integration.

The agreement, signed in Salzburg, west Austria, "provides for new market opportunities for the European aviation industry by creating a single market for aviation consisting of 35 countries and more than 500 million people", according to a statement obtained in Vienna.

The European Union signed the agreement with southeast Asian nations Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and the United Nations mission in Kosovo, as well as Iceland and Norway.

European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot said: "The creation of the European Common Aviation Area will put impetus on the political and economic integration of Europe, for which air transport plays a key role."

The statement said: "The agreement will open up market opportunities for the aviation industry and give people better travel options."

The agreement comes after the EU adopted in June 2005 a roadmap on aviation policy beyond the Union.

"One fundamental aim of this policy is to create a wider Common Aviation Area with neighbouring countries by 2010," the statement said.

It said that a Euro-Mediterranean aviation agreement with Morocco had been reached in December 2005.

First Published: May 05, 2006 18:45 IST