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July 26, 2007

ACNIS Looks at Aviation Issues

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today convened a policy discussion to consider the avenues for raising the effectiveness of Armenian aviation—one of the country’s primary means for worldwide communication. The meeting brought together officials in charge of the national aviation system, leading analysts, policy specialists, social and political figures, and media representatives.

In his opening remarks, ACNIS director of administration Karapet Kalenchian pointed to the tremendous role which Armenian aviation played during the years of establishment of the newly independent Armenia. “Owing to our brave pilots, we were able to overcome the consequences of the 1989-1994 blockade and win the war imposed upon us by Azerbaijan,” he said. “The blockade, however, is continuing even now, and therefore air transportation still maintains a strategic importance for the state, society, and national security of Armenia.”

In his address with reference to Armenian aviation, former MP and economist Professor Tatoul Manasserian focused on the present-day concerns and challenges of this domain. He underscored the necessity to give maximum attention to flight security, design an all-inclusive development plan anchored in proper legislation and accurate assessment of economic efficiency, and to train new aviation experts who meet modern demands. “The lack of concern, state care and oversight, the existing cartels, and the current mode of operation—which causes a decline in manpower and aviation specialists—are breaking the backbone of this extremely important branch and putting an end to its positive economic effects,” Manasserian noted.

The policy roundtable concluded with an exchange of views and policy recommendations among former head Shahen Petrosian of the General Civil Aviation Administration; MP and secretary of Heritage Party’s parliamentary group Stepan Safarian; Edward Antinian, deputy chairman of the Liberal Progressive Party; Tatevik Bezhanian of the Miapet Avia Company; Yerevan State University lecturer Sasun Saribekian; Heritage board member Gevorg Kalenchian; and several others.

Roundtable participants also stressed the need to reexamine this matter thoroughly and even to include it in the parliamentary agenda. In their shared view, “considering the urgency of this question and specifically the role and strategic import of aviation in consolidating Armenia’s economic potential and defense capability, it must be the utmost duty of relevant authorities to resolve the existing problems without delay.”

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2007, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, democratic development, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am ; or visit www.acnis.am.


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