Transporte Aéreo Militar - TAM (La Paz El Alto) has been given forty-five (45) days, or until January 28, 2017, to complete its transition into a state-owned enterprise (SOE) - Transporte Aéreo Militar Comercial - by the Bolivian government.

The announcement effectively allows the Fuerza Aérea Boliviana-owned operator to maintain operations despite the recent passing of a December 16 deadline for it to suspend all civilian commercial flights.

FAB general Celier Arispe told a press conference last week that as with other Bolivian SOEs, the new company would have its own board as well as financial, legal, and technical autonomy.

"The new company will focus on the operation of regular and charter, national and international, air transport services; carrying passengers, cargo and mail," he said.

As it stands, the Bolivian Air Force has already entered into talks with BoA - Boliviana de Aviación (OB, La Paz El Alto) regarding the sale of one B737-300 for TAM's future use.

The Bolivian government's push to force TAM to comply with international standards and regulations comes against the backdrop of the recent fatal crash of a LaMia Bolivia (Santa Cruz Viru Viru) ARJ-85 in Colombia which killed all but six of the sixty-eight passengers and nine crew on-board.

As a military-owned organization, TAM has not been subject to civil aviation oversight and regulations despite it offering civilian passenger flights. According to Arispe, it was in fact ICAO that pointed out this conflict to government.

Founded in 1953, TAM provides regular passenger and cargo services to Bolivia's more remote and inaccessible regions.