Egypt’s Parliament approves new law on air safety, two agreements on trade, terrorism

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 17 Apr 2022

Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – gave a final approval Sunday for a new government-drafted law establishing the National Centre for Airfield Management and for two agreements with the US and African countries on boosting trade and combating terrorism.

Egypt s Parliament

Nora Ali, chairwoman of the House's Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee, said the National Centre for Airfield Management will be mainly tasked with improving Egypt's airfield services, safety procedures and air transportation. "The Centre also aims to achieve an optimal use of Egypt's airfields in a way that can fulfill the country's strategic development objectives and protect national security at the same time," said Ali.

Ali also indicated that the Centre will take charge of restructuring Egypt's air routes and terminals, designing the maps of airplane landing and taking off in Egyptian airports in coordination with the National Company for Air Transport Services.

"The centre will be also tasked with tightening control on airplane movement in Egypt's airfields in terms of improving communication services and safety measures," said Ali, adding that "the centre will provide assistance to neighbouring African countries in the area of airfield management."

The centre will also be involved in preparing technical studies and providing consultation in the areas of air safety and air surveillance.

Speaker of the Parliament Hanafy El-Gebaly said the law does not impose any new taxes. "The law in Article 13 will only impose fees in return for services and that these fees cannot be considered taxes," said El-Gebaly.

Meanwhile, the House gave the thumbs up to two foreign agreements, the first of which is one between Egypt and African Sahel and sub-Saharan countries on fighting terrorism.

A report by the House's Defence and National Security Committee said the agreement is related to setting up the headquarters of an anti-terrorism centre between Egypt and partner African countries.

Ibrahim El-Masry, deputy chairman of the House's Defence and National Security Committee, revealed that the Cairo-based Anti-Terrorism Coordination Centre will mainly target such terrorist organizations such as Daesh (the Islamic State), Boko Haram and Al-Qaida, which have infiltrated a number of African countries in recent years and caused havoc.

The House also gave the final okay to the amendment to a grant assistance agreement between Egypt and the United States (71/2022).

Fakhri El-Fiqi, head of the House's Budget Committee, said the amendment will increase the US Trade and Investment grant to Egypt to $28 million, with the objective of boosting Egyptian exports to the United States.

A report by the House's Economic Affairs Committee indicated that the agreement aims to help Egyptian small and medium-scale companies to boost their exports to the US by improving the investment climate in Egypt, reinforcing commercial relations with the United States and simplifying custom procedures.

"The agreement also aims to expand mutual cooperation between Egypt and the US in the area of the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) in order to help more Egyptian companies make use of the preferential advantages granted by the QIZ to help boost Egyptian textile and ready-made garment exports to the US market," said the report.

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