Panel session on creating a new aviation hub in the AIFC and opportunities for aviation finance was held during the Astana Finance Days 2021

The panel session on establishing a new Aviation Hub in the prospective was held within the framework of the annual Astana Finance Days, organised by the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).

The panel was organised in partnership with the Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK).  The topic of discussion was the possibility of creating a new aviation hub by using the jurisdiction of the AIFC with the developed system of financial instruments. The moderator, Peter Griffiths, Director General of AAK introduced the Aviation Hub and its work as an essential step towards implementing the transformation of flight safety regulation in the country.

The US Ambassador, William H. Moser, noted the significance of creating an Aviation Hub to contribute towards Kazakhstan’s diversification and digitisation plans, while IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe, Rafael Schvartzman, discussed the post-COVID trends in the aviation industry and measures currently being undertaken to facilitate safe travel including through the introduction of digital vaccination certificates to aid recovery of the aviation industry post-COVID-19.

Mr. Schvartzman mentioned that the Centre of Gravity for aviation which was previously predicted to shift towards Asia Pacific by 2039, is expected to accelerate by about 20 years due to the COVID-19 and added that an Aviation Hub would provide the necessary trust and confidence to the aviation industry to enable Kazakhstan to take advantage of its strategic positioning to be the centre of the transit corridor.

The Managing Director of the AIFC Investment Office, Akshu Campbell-Holt, noted that introduction of a new Aviation Hub in the AIFC with international standard flight safety regulation will not only provide an alternative jurisdiction for aircrafts registration, but will also create significant new opportunities for aviation finance including insurance, leasing and related ancillary services. Ms. Campbell-Holt noted that the AIFC is reinforced with independent regulatory and dispute resolution bodies providing the essential investor confidence and asset protection.

The Aviation Director of Willis Towers Watson, Alexander Chapman, expressed strong support from the insurance market and other service providers and noted the importance of creating strong foundations through the potential Aviation Hub to continue to deliver high levels of aviation regulation and safety standards.


Reference information:

AIFC. «Astana» International Finance Centre (AIFC) was created by the initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Constitutional Law “On the AIFC” was signed on December 7, 2015. The purpose of AIFC is to create the leading international centre of financial services. Objectives of AIFC include: assistance in attracting investments into the country’s economy, creating an attractive environment for investing in financial services, developing the securities market of the Republic of Kazakhstan and ensuring its integration with international capital markets.

The Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK) was established in 2019 under the context of the ‘100 Concrete Steps to implement Institutional Reforms’ to improve the effectiveness of the aviation industry and to increase attractiveness of air transit through Kazakhstan by modelling on international standard safety agencies. AAK has introduced a fundamentally new approach to ensure safety of flights in Kazakhstan in compliance with the best international practices of industry regulation including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and Cape Town Convention.

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