IATA welcomes Bangladesh's commitment to ratify MC99

- A Monitor Report 16 May, 2018 | 780 Views | 0 Comments
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Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, International Air Transport Association (IATA), calling on AKM Shahjahan Kamal, Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism at the Secretariat office of the latter on May 9
Dhaka : The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the commitment of Bangladesh to complete the process of ratification on the Montreal Convention of 1999 (MC99).

This is stated in a news release issued from Singapore on May 10 following two-day visit of Bangladesh by Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President of IATA for Asia Pacific.

"Over the last two days, we have had very productive meetings with various government officials regarding the aviation environment in Bangladesh. Specifically, we welcome the positive messages from the Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism on the government's commitment to ratify MC99," said Conrad Clifford.

MC99 establishes airline liability in the case of death or injury to passengers, as well as in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo. "This gives passengers travelling internationally better protection and compensation when a flight is delayed, their luggage lost, delayed or damaged, or in the very rare occasion when there is an accident causing injury or loss of life," said Clifford.

MC99 will also help boost trade. Goods shipped internationally require a lot of documentation.

For over four decades, all the documentation accompanying the shipment is paper-based. MC99 provides the legal framework to use e-air waybills, which in turn facilitates document management and eliminates paper.

It is a key element of the World Trade Organisation's Trade Facilitation Agreement which, when fully implemented, is expected to cut the cost of trade by 14 per cent and boost exports by 3.5 per cent annually. Given the significant benefits to all stakeholders, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is urging ratification of MC99 by all remaining states.

"MC99 will bring benefits for airlines operating in Bangladesh with standardised processes and faster data processing while the removal of paper documents leads to real cost savings and greater legal certainty," said Clifford.

"Bangladesh is missing out on a huge opportunity to modernise its aviation policies and maximise the economic benefits that aviation can bring. Aviation currently supports Bangladesh 1.3 million jobs and US$3.3 billion in economic activity. This has the potential to grow to 3.3 million jobs and US$8 billion respectively in 2035. But to do so, the right policies need to be in place, with the most urgent being MC99," said Clifford.

To date 131 parties have ratified MC99. Bangladesh is among the remaining states in Asia, including Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam that have not ratified the convention.