Brussels launches 360° aviation policy review

Brussels is to chart a new course for aviation with a wholesale review of the European industry.

The Commission’s 2015 work programme details 23 new priority initiatives focused on jobs, growth and investment. Among these is a review of EU aviation policy – based on a Communication that will identify the challenges facing European aviation and proposing measures for improving its competitiveness.

European airports organisation ACI EUROPE said it fully supported this review and said it had already made formal representations and held several meetings with high level Commission officials, calling for a review of aviation policy targeted at redressing the competitive gap between European aviation and other regions around the world.

It said that with Europe increasingly dependent on external trade and actively seeking to boost investment, the strategic relevance of aviation for jobs and growth is all too obvious – given the unparalleled global connectivity it provides to citizens and businesses as well as communities across Europe.

It has recommended that the airport capacity crunch should be addressed by setting an EU airport capacity long term objective fully aligned with the objectives of the Single European Sky (SES), especially in relation to airspace capacity.

“This high level airport capacity objective could be focused on the top 25 European airports and would allow to monitor progress over time,” it said. “It would fit within the ground capacity pillar of SES and address a critical factor for the success of SES. This airport capacity objective could be complemented by an EU Framework to simplify and speed track planning procedures for the development of airport infrastructure at airports which form part of the core network of the Trans-European Network.”

Last week ACI EUROPE announced that it would participate in the SESAR Deployment Alliance through the creation of the SESAR Airport Grouping which would be initially focused on the top 25 European airports, which are considered as the nodes of the ATM network and where congestion has the widest impact.

Through the SESAR Airport Grouping, ACI EUROPE said it would ensure that its airport members are entitled to receive European financial support for preparation the technologies and processes that will become mandatory under the Deployment plan. In total, the EC has earmarked €3 billion for the deployment of SESAR by airlines, airports and ANSPs.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE said: “As part of this challenge, we will be focusing on making sure that airports are required to deploy what is truly necessary for improving performance – the “must-haves” rather than the “nice-to-haves”. For airports, deploying SESAR will be primarily about optimising safe ground operations with all operational stakeholders involved. This will allow us to sweat our assets and deliver capacity gains – which will translate into tangible cost efficiencies for airlines and improved punctuality for passengers.”

Jankovec said in a statement today: “We have already made detailed proposals to the Commission, which we feel should be included in a new start for European aviation. This policy review cannot be about paying lip service to Europe’s airlines and airports. It will need a new and politically courageous approach – one that really considers the bigger picture of Europe’s place in the globalised world.”

Read More: Europe selects its Deployment Manager

Posted in Airports, News, SESAR, Single European Sky

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