Making aviation a political priority for Europe: A4E Summit

The CEOs of Europe’s leading airlines met in Brussels on 6 March to urge the EU to elevate aviation policy to a critical priority for the next five years. At a time when some question the benefits of European integration, a healthy, interconnected aviation sector which meets the mobility needs of Europe’s citizens is more important than ever.

A seamless European Sky

At its third-annual Aviation Summit, Airlines for Europe (A4E) called on the EU to take decisive action on several crucial aviation policy issues that continue to negatively impact European airlines and their passengers, including Europe’s inefficient air traffic management system. As delays caused by air traffic control have risen steeply across Europe, realising the Single European Sky has become an urgent necessity.

Reducing emissions

Europe’s outdated air traffic management system results in significant, unnecessary emissions due to longer than necessary flying times and disruptions, countering the sector’s efforts to reduce emissions. In addition to removing these roadblocks, progress can be made on research and development initiatives, such as electric and hybrid engine technologies, and sustainable alternative fuels. The EU can be a significant partner in funding these initiatives.

Ensuring aviation’s long-term success

The CEOs stressed that Europe needs healthy and competitive airlines. In a globalised and interconnected world, Europe’s wealth depends to a large extent on the continent’s connectivity – both within the EU and with the wider world. Imposing additional national taxes is therefore not the solution. It harms both the aviation industry and Europe’s citizens and businesses in general.

Greener, safer, more connected

Guillaume Faury speaking at the A4E Aviation Summit Gala Dinner

Speaking on the eve of the Summit, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft Guillaume Faury called on the heads of Europe’s airlines to work together to create a new Golden Age of aviation through digitalisation and sustainable technologies. He reminded the audience as well of the importance of CORSIA, the ICAO carbon offsetting scheme. Mr Faury emphasised the opportunities created by the technological revolution that is underway in the aviation sector to speed up innovation and to make aviation greener, safer and more connected.

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