Tale/innlegg | Dato: 07.11.2013 | Samferdselsdepartementet
The Avinor Conference, 6 November 2013 Minister of Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen
New Political View
- Aviation friends - good afternoon!
- Thank you for inviting me here today.
- Today it is exactly three weeks since I started the job as Minister of Transport and Communication.
- It’s been three busy – and very exciting weeks!
- I can promise you that we are working hard to put our policies into practise! We need to do so in cooperation and understanding with the business community.
- We believe to have better ideas and better solutions - also when it comes to the aviation industry.
- I will use this opportunity to talk about our government’s new political view – related to transport and aviation.
Government’s new political platform:
- Our new political platform is a cooperation between (my party) the Progress Party (FrP) and the Conservative Party (H).
- The new political platform will be the basis for our policies in the years to come.
- The new government has the support of two other centre-oriented political parties in the Parliament.
- The four parties together have a majority in Parliament - and have signed a cooperation-agreement on central policy-issues.
Overall goal for Transport:
- Good infrastructure is a basic pillar in a modern society.
- Businesses must be able to transport their goods and services to the market - fast, simple and at a low cost.
- It is expensive for the nation when traffic is clogged up – when transport and communication – is not working fully. (although this is not a main challenge in the aviation industry)
- People travel daily to work 200 – 250 days a year, we must make sure this daily commute is efficient.
- With new policies – new way of organisation - we want to change this.
- The government wants to make good infrastructure a competitive advantage for the nation.
Aviation: Private initiative – and competition
- This government is found of – and will encourage private initiative!
- We believe in competition, the entrepreneur, and the dynamics of a well functional free marked. We are here to sense the customer and the traveller - the people.
- When it comes to Avinor – I am impressed by how they continuously are improving efficiency, safety, quality for their customers. Even if the company is in a close to monopolistic situation i Norway, Avinor is competing within the aviation industry on products existing in other countries. We recognise and appreciate this. I am pleased to see the mindset used in approaching challenges – many big projects are coming up.
- The political platform states that the government wants to open up for competition on development, operation and maintenance on various parts of airports.
- As an example - the government wants to expose air traffic control services to competition.
- Another example: in our political platform we state that the license for Moss Lufthavn, Rygge should be altered to raise the number of flight movements and expand the opening hours.
- We will carry out a competition–oriented aviation policy. We believe this will strengthen the industry.
- The policy will be based on an understanding that aviation is a vital part of the Norwegian transport network – both domestic and internationally.
- When appropriate - the government will contribute to fewer, larger and more competitive airports.
Easier everyday life
- We have promised that we will create policies that make life easier for the public.
- One example - is to facilitate simplified transfer from international to domestic flights.
- In this specific case, we will begin with Oslo Airport, Gardermoen.
- Simplified transfer – will be of great value for travellers, airlines – and the whole aviation industry in Norway!
- These are issues we are working on, but details on when – how – and where we will put our politics into practise – are questions we will get back to and answer more detailed at a later point.
The importance of Avinor
- The Avinor-model – has been a successful way of organising the building and developing of infrastructure.
- We often say – look to Avinor! The use of a limited company instead of public administrations has proven very successful.
- As part of our new policies we want to set up companies in order to build roads and railways at a faster speed.
- We are inspired by the Avinor-model, when we are now in the process of establishing companies in other sectors.
- Avinor is responsible for operating the vast majority of our airports, and for providing air navigation services. By doing so, Avinor carries out an important job in the Norwegian society!
- The ownership of Avinor is therefore an important political tool for me as Minister of Transport and Communications, in order to ensure a well functioning air transport network in Norway.
- Air transport is of major importance to Norway. Norway has a widespread population, long distances, a tough operating climate and difficult topography. All these reasons make air transport even more important to Norway, than to most other European countries.
- Air services between our largest cities are very good.
- The many airports and the route network play a key role in ensuring competitive industrial and commercial activity throughout Norway.
Airlines - globalisation and competition:
- We have lately been reminded of the challenges the airlines face in terms of globalisation and competition.
- The aviation industry has become more international. We have seen a significant change the last 20 years.
- This means both challenges and opportunities for the aviation industry.
- Globalisation of the aviation industry means in other terms – more competition.
- We may see a development where for instance low cost Asia based airlines increasingly compete with Europe and US carriers outside Asia.
- The liberalisation of the aviation industry challenges the established systems. This creates difficult questions with crossing interests.
- What about international airlines flying to Norway? Some may want us to demand that they operate with the same salary and working conditions as Norwegian workers. However that would create a higher costlevel for travels to Norway compared with our travel destinations. Thus a measure thought to protect jobs could result in jobdestruction.
- We must thus seek international cooperation on regulations.
- It is understandable that Norwegian workers and employers within the aviation industry do want regulations that protect their own jobs and routes.
- On the other hand, our airlines want flexible conditions – to secure economic growth for the company and not be outmanoeuvred by foreign competition on international routes.
- On the one hand we want to give Norwegian airlines the opportunity to adjust to the international marked and competition. We want to give Norwegian companies the opportunity to grow and insure Norwegian jobs.
- On the other hand we want to secure the workers’ rights within the aviation industry.
- We believe it is important to cooperate on regulations – on a European level.
- We believe it is important to work towards a similar set of rules and regulations within Europe.
- We are now in the process of taking an initiative towards EU. Norway cannot solve this alone. These are international challenges – and we need to solve them internationally.
- We need to discuss the same practice on regulations throughout Europe.
- We need to discuss how we can create a more harmonized and standardized set of EU-regulations.
- It is more efficient to have 31 countries operate under the same set of rules and certifications.
- At the same time, all countries feel they have special needs, including Norway. This is not an easy task, but it is an area we must continuously work on.
- I will round off the way I started – good infrastructure is a basic pillar in a modern society.
- The government wants to make good infrastructure a competitive advantage for the nation – also when it comes to aviation.
- We are working hard to put our policies into practise! You will hear more from us!
- Thank you all for your kind attention. I wish you all a successful and fulfilling conference!