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October 18, 2002

ACNIS Roundtable Discusses Armenian Civil Aviation

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) convened today a working seminar on “Prospects for Civil Aviation Development in Armenia.”

ACNIS research director Professor Tatoul Manasserian welcomed the participants. “Civil aviation is one of the spheres of the national economy, the efficient work of which will not only stimulate the country’s progress, serving as the most practical means of transport and communication during the blockade, but also can become an important source for multiplying the national income,” he said.

Rafael Badalian, deputy chief of Armenian Civil Aviation, delivered a keynote speech on “The Present Situation in Armenian Civil Aviation.” In his talk, Mr. Badalian concluded that “civil aviation in Armenia needs sound investments. It is important to mention that a development program is being worked out taking into consideration the most vital needs of aviation and the specific conditions of our country.”

Armen Ter-Tachatyan, attorney for Yerevan's new airport managers, presented his analysis on “The Today and Tomorrow of ‘Zvartnots’ Airport.” “It is too early to speak about the effects of the 'Zvartnots' airport contract. I think we have to be patient and return to this issue after a certain period,” he stated.

Armenian Airlines marketing manager Samvel Yavrian spoke about “Increasing the Competitiveness of Armenian Airlines.” He noted: “Armenian Airlines has undergone serious transformations. Thanks to the effective measures taken by the management, we anticipate to have a zero balance during the winter season, which means having a profitable summer.”

“Prerequisites for Developing the Armenian Civil Aviation Industry” was presented by Dmitri Atbashian, chairman of the National Aviation Union. “The institutional changes in civil aviation were not made with serious thought, and a development strategy adopted by the Government of Armenia in 1992 was never pursued. A special status should be given to the National Aviation Union to monitor the implementation of projects related to civil aviation. It has also been suggested that Armenian Airlines be given to the National Aviation Union for trust management in order to ensure profitable operations,” he said.

The formal presentations were followed by a brisk debate among presidential economic adviser Artashes Bakhshian, prime ministerial aide Felix Vardanian, economist Edward Aghajanov, Armenian Businessmen’s Association chairman Hovsep Seferian, members of the Armenian Socioeconomic Council Garik Mkrtchian and Edward Tangian, National Citizens' Initiative coordinator Hrach Hakobyan, “Socialist Armenia” councilmember Robert Shamirian, and “Sed Marsed” executive director Tigran Jrbashian.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi Hovannisian and supported by the Lincy Foundation and 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 2002, the Center focuses increasingly on public outreach, civic education, and applied research on critical public and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center and its activities, call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am.

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