Business aviation welcomes the EC guidelines for restoring connectivity in Europe
14 May 2020, Brussels. The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) welcomes and supports the guidelines published by the European Commission (EC) for the safe resuming of air travel in Europe, highlights that the success of the proposed strategy hinges on a coordinated and non-discriminatory implementation at the national level.
The EC has issued guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity in Europe. The proposed measures aim to effectively coordinate the recovery of transport services and allow European citizens to plan and enjoy their summer holidays safely.
Commenting on the EC’s proposals, EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “We are glad to see that many of the recommendations put forward by the EC are those that have been put in place by Business Aviation operators on the frontline of the crisis”.
On 30 April, EBAA sent an open letter to policy-makers and regulators calling for a coordinated approach on the lifting of air travel restrictions. Business Aviation operators can offer specific precautionary measures and guarantees that ensure the highest level of safety. Additional health and protection measures have already been developed and implemented in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. As such, Business Aviation can and will be one of the first-movers once it is safe to lift travel restrictions.
The success of the proposed exit strategy hinges on two critical conditions;
- A coordinated and responsible implementation at the national level. We urge the Member States, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland to continue to work closely with all actors of the aviation industry to ensure a safe, timely and workable return to operations as soon as possible. It is vital for Business Aviation to operate within harmonised rules at European – but also global – level.
- A non-discriminatory approach to restoring connectivity for the entire aviation sector, including Business Aviation. As highlighted by the EC in its communication, “In addition to being proportionate, all measures should also be duly motivated, transparent, relevant and mode-specific, non-discriminatory and maintain a level playing field in the Single Market”. This principle of non-discrimination applies to Business Aviation operations, which is sometimes not necessarily understood by all the European Member States.
The European Business Aviation community fully supports all the measures taken so far by authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety is – and always will be – our priority, whether for passengers, crews and other workers involved in our sector’s operations. EBAA will continue to collaborate with the European Commission, EASA and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) on the development of technical and operational measures that are adapted and relevant to the specificities of our sector.