India and the EU need to work out a long-term comprehensive agreement on aviation safety and modernisation of air traffic management to enhance cooperation, a top official of the 28-member bloc has said. The agreement has to be mutually beneficial, Henrik Hololei, director general for mobility and transport at European Commission — an institution of the European Union (EU), told PTI here. “The comprehensive agreement must be a framework to build a real partnership when it comes to aviation safety and security, cooperation in regulatory aspects, modernisation of air traffic management and environmental aspects,” he said at the inauguration of the office of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Singapore yesterday.
Hololei was elaborating on the India-EU Horizontal Civil Aviation Agreement which has now been operationalised after the 14th India-EU Summit in New Delhi last week. “I think this is very good for a closer cooperation because India and the EU have a lot of possibilities to deepen this cooperation. India is a very fast developing market and it is continuously important for both the sides,” he said. He expects the visit of European Commissioner for Transport to India in December to make a further breakthrough in a bigger and broader agreement and build a good basis for the future relationship. “With our cooperation we (will) create (more) opportunities for the airlines for delivering the connectivity and people-to-people contact,” Hololei said. EASA’s Singapore office is the fourth one. Its other offices are located in Washington, Montreal and Beijing. It will support European aviation industry which has significant manufacturing, training, maintenance, repair and overhaul activities.