AEA calls for level airfreight playing field

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THE Association of European Airlines (AEA) is pushing the European Commission to develop a level playing field for the air cargo sector.

The association outlines its views in a report on how to improve the sustainable development and competitiveness of European airlines, which it submitted to the Commission on Monday 8 June.

The AEA wants the smooth functioning of the air cargo sector, which it says entails, “proper infrastructure, a level playing field for the cargo industry and seamless customs and security legislation.”

The AEA explains it is encouraging risk-based pre-loading advance cargo information (PLACI) and implementation of the union customs code (UCC), following the incident in Yemen in 2010, when plastic explosives were discovered on separate cargo aircraft during a stop-over. PLACI programmes exist to provide an early risk assessment of cargo shipments to identify consignments that pose a threat. The AEA says: “For PLACI programmes to be implemented successfully, a framework is needed for the customs requirements laid down in the new UCC that will enter into force in May 2016.”

The AEA has requested the Commission cooperate and coordinate with home affairs, customs and security authorities at local, European Union and international levels to share information and make sure customs legislation is robust and to reduce any red-tape.

The Commission is carrying out a consultation on its aviation policies to address competitiveness issues and will publish a report later this year.