Industry Update

The European Business Aviation Summit 2023: A Clear Flight Plan Towards Sustainability

The European Business Aviation Summit 2023 unfolded as an essential forum, gathering industry experts and EU representatives with a shared ambition for a sustainable aviation future.

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The European Business Aviation Summit 2023 (EBAS 2023) marked an exceptional gathering of diverse stakeholders from the European Business aviation community, European Union institutions, and the wider EU aviation sector. The summit demonstrated Business aviation’s contribution and commitment towards reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and highlighted the importance of the sector as a catalyst for innovation in aviation.

Advocating for Business Aviation’s Net-Zero Commitment and Economic Vitality

Filip Negreanu-Arboreanu, head of cabinet for the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean, opened the summit with an endorsement of Business aviation’s strides toward a net-zero target, particularly its role in enhancing regional connectivity through technological innovation.

The conversation gained altitude with Juergen Wiese, the EBAA Chairman, who underscored the sector’s significant economic and employment contributions. He elaborated on how Business aviation serves as a vital network, linking a vast array of European destinations.

Critical Dialogues on Legislation and Finance

Key discussions at the summit pivoted around two major axes: legislative alignment with environmental goals and the financial frameworks that underpin sustainable innovation. Moderated by Catherine Nicholson, the panels dissected the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package and the implications for Business aviation in the quest for increased SAF use mandated by the recently adopted RefuelEU regulation. Thanks to the set-up of the panel, the legislative (Flor Diaz Pulido, Head of Unit, DG MOVE and José Ramón Bauza, Member of the European Parliament, responsible for RefuelEU) academic (Steven Truxal, Leiden University) and industry (Bernhard Fragner, CEO, GlobeAir) perspectives were perfectly illustrated. The conversation centred on the necessity of policy support and the intricacies of integrating systems like the Book & Claim system into the aviation sector’s framework to assist the Business aviation sector to decarbonise at pace.

The focus then shifted to the looming financial challenge—the risk of Business aviation’s exclusion from the EU taxonomy, which could impede the flow of green investments. Minister Farrugia, MEP Marinescu and Carlos Brana, Vice-President of Dassault Aviation presented a grounded case for ensuring that Business aviation, as the catalyst for innovation within aviation, remains eligible for sustainable finance, thereby safeguarding the industry’s ability to innovate and grow responsibly.

The Power of Pioneering Stories and Collective Commitment

Raphaël Domjan’s account of developing a solar-powered aircraft was a testament to the summit’s underlying theme: that transformative innovations are already taking wing. These stories serve not just as inspiration but as concrete examples of the sector’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

In wrapping up the summit, EBAA’s COO Robert Baltus distilled the essence of the proceedings, acknowledging key insights and thanking contributors, including NetJets Europe for their support.

The European Business Aviation Summit 2023 thus concluded, not as an end but as a waypoint in the industry’s journey towards sustainability. The insights shared and commitments forged among the leaders in attendance set out a definitive flight plan for a cleaner, greener aviation trajectory.