AACM: complex legal support for Macau to become flight transfer hub

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The city’s Civil Aviation Authority (AACM) disclosed that the legal support required to make Macau a flight transfer hub is complex, given that routes between Macau and the mainland are considered as inland routes.
Legislator Chan Meng Kam urged in his interpellation that the MSAR Government should consider introducing the “fifth freedom of the air” – the right to fly between two foreign countries on a flight originating or ending in one’s own country – for Macau to act as a transfer hub or extension point to connect between foreign flights and Mainland Chinese flights.
The AACM replied that the operations of a transfer hub in Macau would involve freedom of air of different jurisdictions, such as the regime of ‘one country, two systems’, as well as different interests of aviation businesses from different regions.
The aviation bureau also added that many of the foreign flights to and from Macau are operated under the fifth freedom of the air act; for example the Macau International Airport offered flights in the past from Singapore to Macau and then on to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, when asked about the future plans, given that the license of Air Macau will expire in 2020, the AACM stated that the MSAR Government is carrying out research into the future development of the aviation industry and will announce further details at a later stage.