Banning business jets will halt the sustainable future of aviation

Brussels, 7 September 2022. The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has taken note of the current political mainstream that is calling for the regulation of private jet flights more thoroughly at the EU level. Most upsetting, are the unfortunate routes taken that includes notions of banning, or increasing taxation which could simply deter the entire industry from operating and developing sustainable technologies.

Business aviation has always been an early adopter of innovative technologies that improve the efficiency of aviation. Since 2009, the Business aviation community has been committed to reducing the environmental impact of its products and operations through its climate commitment. In many ways, it has been ahead of the curve in mitigating its impact on climate change. For instance: over the last 15 years, emissions per hour, per flight, per business aircraft have decreased by 36%.

The Business aviation sector goes through a continuous cycle of designing advanced airframes and cutting-edge propulsion system technologies. Constant product evolution driven by research and development demonstrates why our sector is the catalyst for innovation in aviation and a leader in decarbonising the aviation sector. Key is the craving to innovate and improve, which stems from the ability to offer the best-in-class service possible whilst operating smaller aircraft. In an industry that operates on thin margins, it is crucial to strike a balance between the ability to innovate and taxation. Investments in technology such as composite structures, ever-cleaner engines, Global Satellite Positioning, winglets and other key advancements have enabled the industry to produce these benefits and, in turn, genuine emissions reductions.

It is also important to point out that the European Business aviation industry employs almost 400,000 people and contributes close to 90 billion EURO to the European GDP annually. It is an industry that provides a solution when time matters most, serving as a lifeline for communities, be it for medical transport or as a tool to help governments and businesses, that also generates local economic development. Crucially, Business aviation has played an important part in the first phase of the COVID19 pandemic.

Europe has a large aviation and technology heritage with state-of-the-art Business aviation manufacturers, making it evermore crucial for aviation and governments to work together. Business aviation companies are developing the sustainable aviation of tomorrow through all types of technological improvements such as SAF, electric aircraft, hydrogen propelled engines, power-to-liquid and more.

This type of innovation should remain at the centre of the European economy, and EBAA urges European governments to support these endeavours. In short, don’t stifle an industry of its ability to innovate by implementing policies which could effectively kill the industry altogether.

Last, but certainly not least, is the most obvious solution that Europe and its Member States have at hand: the Single European Sky (SES). EBAA urges those who are serious about improving aviation’s footprint to focus the attention on introducing the SES, that is widely accepted to reduce all aviation emissions in Europe by 10%. Unfortunately, this initiative has stalled for over 20 years, and EBAA urges to re-table this discussion as soon as possible to bring it to fruition – for the betterment of the European skies and European citizens.

It is now time governments and business aviation leaders stand united behind a plan that will help us actually implement real solutions with real reductions.

Environmental action and economic growth are not mutually exclusive; we should prioritise sustainability without sacrificing the modern-day necessity of business flying, which connects citizens, companies and communities to economic opportunities as never before.

If recent years have shown us anything, it is that Business aviation is there when connections need to be made most direly. It will continue to fulfil that role, to the benefit of Europe and Europeans, for many more years to come.

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