Air Transport Agreements
As the air transport sector continues to grow in Iceland so does the need for bilateral Air Transport Agreements (ATAs). Iceland’s ATAs differ in the scope of the traffic rights provided for. In addition to reciprocal authorisations for passenger transport and air cargo services between the contracting states, many agreements also provide for authorisation for stopovers in third states and for cargo flights to and from third states and the relevant contracting state without a landing in the state of registry.
The aviation sector is one of Iceland´s most important industries. The total turnover of the industry is similar to that of the metal production sector and amounted to ISK 247.8 billion in 2015, thereof ISK 185.8 billion was foreign currency income. Therefore, it is a matter of interest for the Icelandic economy that Icelandic air carriers can benefit from the broadest possible access to international markets through ATAs. At the same time, open and comprehensive air transport agreements guarantee authorisations for air carriers of other states to operate scheduled air services to Iceland. At present more than 26 foreign air carriers operate scheduled air services to Iceland.
Currently Iceland has concluded bilateral ATAs that grant authorisations for commercial flights to 101 states. This number includes 10 agreements with EU Member States and Switzerland, since authorisations are in place for flights to every state that is a part of the single market on the basis of the EEA Agreement, in addition to the Vaduz Convention with regard to Switzerland. Agreements have thus been made for commercial flights to 101 states (86-3+18) in addition to the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoU) with 9 states. All the signed ATAs in addition to the MoUs are currently applicable.
The number of ATAs concluded by the Icelandic authorities in recent years has increased significantly. For now, Iceland aims to conclude ATAs with a number of key states, update current agreements and finalize the ratification procedure of signed agreements.