For the Single Market to operate effectively there must be safe, adequate and affordable transportation for goods and people. The Transport Policy seeks to put in place the necessary requirements to achieve an efficient transportation system on land, in the air and by sea, in an environmentally sound manner and with particular regard to the Caribbean Sea. Included among these are: promoting cooperation in providing transport services; developing and expanding air and maritime transport capabilities; and implementing standards for safe road, riverine, sea and air transport.
Allied with this Policy is the Multilateral Agreement Concerning the Operation of Air Services within the Caribbean Community, commonly called the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA). The principal means of transport without within our Community, particularly for persons, is by air and there are several airlines operating inside our Region and between our Community and outside countries. These airlines, such as Caribbean Airlines, Air Jamaica, and LIAT are also national airlines for some Member States. It is therefore important that there are common rules by which they operate.
MASA provides a more liberal environment for the air carriers of participating states to operate air services in the Region. The Agreement addresses issues such as licensing requirements, insurance, traffic and transit rights, market access, cabotage and safety and security concerns. MASA has been signed by all member starts except The Bahamas, Jamaica and Montserrat. The agreement took effect in November 1998 following its ratification by eight member states. This agreement is an important step towards the establishment of a single Market for air transport services as it provides the formal framework for air sercices among our member states.