15 May

The Recent Growth

In conjunction with the rapid economic growth of the country, Turkish aviation industry has been registering a remarkable growth during the recent years. Utilizing from the geographical position of the country, which is strategically located in the close vicinity of Middle East and Africa as well as acting as a bridge between Europe and Asia,  the Turkish aviation industry has taken off to be one of the leading in Europe.

The recent growth in the industry is well reflected by the numbers.  A decade ago, the number of destinations that the civil aviation companies in Turkey had been flying was only limited to 23 with only a single airline company providing the services. During the course of the last decade the number of service providing airline companies had jumped to five with 43 different flying destinations. The number of people employed in the industry demonstrates the growing clout of the Turkish aviation sector as well. The number of people employed by the industry was only 48.000. However the last decade saw more than a %100 increase in the numbers of people working for the industry which has already exceeded 100.000 mark.

Compared to the previous year, in 2013 commercial flight traffic in Turkey increased by 11.9% and the passenger traffic rose by 14.5% as well as a 17.3% rise registered for the cargo traffic. In line with the Regional Aviation Policy that was adopted a decade ago, the number of passengers had recorded a tremendous increase, to be more precise the rise in the total number of passengers for this period has been a 233% increase. This means Turkey to be ranked as the fifth largest Aviation industry in Europe, a spot above Italy. The ongoing construction work for the third airport in Istanbul, once completed is expected to increase even more the already growing  number of passengers.

Rising Quality

Especially much attention has recently been started to paid for the environmentally sensitive services.  A recent example is the success of the Antalya Airport which has been rewarded with the Airport Carbon Accreditation Optimization certificate as the result of its attainment of low level of carbon emission which led the airport to be listed among the top 8 airports that with the least amount of carbon emission in the world. It should be mentioned that such a trend for environmentally conscious aviation services is a natural outgrowth of the Green Airports initiative adopted by the General Directorate for Civilian Aviation in 2009.

A growing concern for the betterment of services inside the airports during the recent years is the services for the disabled people.  Another initiative which had again been adopted by the General Directorate for Civilian Aviation concerning the disabled resulted with one of the leading airports in Turkey, Ankara Esenboğa Airport to be fully functional for the disabled passengers where they can benefit from the services uninhibited and on an equal basis with the abled passengers . Similar initiatives are going on to ensure service equality and functionality for the disabled passengers in other airports all over Turkey.

Recent Regulations

The recent regulations in the industry are specifically designed to match the growing quality of the Turkish aviation industry. Such a concern for better match for high quality services especially demonstrates itself in staff recruitment process and transparency efforts. It is by no means a coincidence that the General Directorate for Civilian Aviation has recently been aligning itself with the Higher Education Council in Turkey. The underlying logic behind the latest protocol between these two important institutions is to ensure a continuous recruitment of well educated and highly qualified workforce to meet the demands of high quality service providing industry. Apart from the efforts for ensuring the high quality of the workforce for the industry, the legislative framework tries to attain a higher level of transparency. A recent example is the latest regulations that provides easier electronic access to the documents issued by the General Directorate for Civilian Aviation.

Conclusion

The Turkish aviation industry has been undergoing a comprehensive transformation. Its recent success not only reflects the geographical location of the country which leaves it as a natural hub for air transportation but also a well planned and coordinated policy that ranges from regulatory efforts to environmentally conscious designs and from better quality services to intensive transparency policies. It is by no means a coincidence that the industry has already taken off to position itself as one of the leading in Europe.


Herdem Law Firm, Istanbul Turkey

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