EBAA reaffirms importance of business aviation, calls for inclusive European Aviation Framework
12 April, 2019 (Bucharest). European business aviation calls for an inclusive European Aviation Framework to enable improved connectivity, efficiency, European competitiveness and regional cohesion across the continent.
Global passenger traffic is expected to double by 2037 and accommodating this fascinating growth is a major challenge for the European air transport industry and governments. It will require new standards, technologies, harmonised regulations and adequate infrastructure.
On the occasion of Romania’s European Council Presidency, aviation regulators and industry experts met to discuss key topics for the air transport industry in the region. Speaking at today’s Aviation Day conference in Bucharest:
Business aviation can make an even more significant contribution to local communities and economies because we fly where others don’t. As such we need to ensure that the European Aviation framework is inclusive, taking into account the specific needs and challenges of our sectorAthar Husain Khan, EBAA Secretary-General
For instance, since the start of the Romanian European Council Presidency in January, business aviation traffic in Romania has increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2018 (Source: 2019 EBAA Yearbook). This demonstrates the ever-pressing need for the closely tailored, flexible, point-to-point air transportation for governments, businesses and local communities in the most time-efficient way possible that business aviation provides.
But business aviation is not just a time machine. New technologies such as electrification, VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing), blockchain, artificial intelligence, and alternative fuels are igniting the pace of innovation in aviation. And nowhere is it more prevalent than business aviation – the industry that sets the bar for air travel.
These much-needed improvements and technological advances will only be made possible if the EU is able to provide the adequate infrastructure for business aviation operators in Europe. In particular, access to airports and airspace which remain major hurdles for our sector.
Just last week, despite record delays as well as industry calls for urgent EU airspace reform, EU Member States approved the weakest performance targets ever for Europe’s air traffic control providers by agreeing to extend the threshold for delays. These new targets will not incentivise the performance improvements the European airspace network desperately needs, nor will they support the delivery of the Single European Sky benefits.
A recent European Commission report comparing air traffic management in the U.S. versus Europe found that in 2017, despite the U.S. controlling nearly 50% more flights (15.3m in the U.S. vs 10.4m in Europe) — “the total number of flights with reportable delay was 387,000 in Europe vs. 258,000 in the U.S. This means that 50% more flights are delayed in Europe than in the U.S.”, due to Europe’s fragmented system.