This agreement is a response to an ecological crisis that hit Southeast Asia in the late 1990s. The crisis was caused mainly by the grubbing up of agricultural land by open combustion islets on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Satellite images confirmed the presence of hotspots in Kalimantan/Borneo, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and other locations, where an estimated 45,000 square kilometres of forest and land were burned.  Malaysia, Singapore and, to some extent, Thailand and Brunei were particularly hard hit. The ASEAN-SAM Internal Aviation Market, also known as the ASEAN Open Sky Agreement/Policy, is the most important aviation policy in the region. It aims to develop a single aviation market between ASEAN members in South-East Asia, which is due to start on 1 January 2015, although not all agreements have yet to be signed.  Aviation policy was proposed by the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group, supported by the ASEAN senior officials` meeting and supported by ASEAN transport ministers.  The creation of ASEAN-SAM was a key part of the roadmap for the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community.  On 26 August 2007, ASEAN announced its goal of concluding free trade agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand by 2013, which corresponds to the beginning of the ASEAN Economic Community until 2015.   In November 2007, ASEAN countries signed the ASEAN Charter, a constitution that governs relations between member states and establishes the group itself as an international legal entity.  In the same year, Cebu`s declaration on East Asian energy security was signed by ASEAN and other EAS members (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea) which tracks energy security by seeking energy alternatives to conventional fuels.  The internal market will also include the ASEAN-SAM internal aviation market, the region`s aviation policy, which aims to develop a single unitary aviation market in Southeast Asia. It was proposed by the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group, which was supported by the ASEAN senior officials` meeting and endorsed by ASEAN transport ministers.
 Air traffic between Member States should be liberalised so that ASEAN airlines can directly benefit from the growth of air transport, as well as tourism, trade, investment and service flows.   Since 1 December 2008, restrictions on the third and fourth freedoms of air transport between Member States` capitals for passenger transport have been lifted, while full liberalisation of air cargo in the region has taken effect from 1 January 2009.   On 1 January 2011, the total liberalisation of the fifth freedom of movement between all capitals came into force.  This policy replaces existing bilateral and multilateral air services agreements between Member States that are incompatible with their provisions.