ERA’s response to the EC aviation strategy

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP December 9, 2015 15:34

ERA’s response to the EC aviation strategy

The European Commission’s (EC’s) Aviation Strategy, published on 7 December, is designed to address a range of topics and create a stronger and more competitive European airline sector.

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) welcomes the EC’s recognition that aviation is a key driver of economic growth, jobs, trade and mobility and that a strategic review of the sector is needed to ensure that European aviation maintains its leadership of this global market. A strong and successful aviation sector is vital to EU citizens and to ERA’s members who provide connectivity to some of Europe’s most remote regions where air transport is an essential mode of transport.

Some of the strategy’s proposals are positive and will lead to a stronger (and safer) industry. The EC has identified the key issues that need to be tackled – many of which were in ERA’s own strategy released at the beginning of this year (The Future of Regional Aviation). However, many of the actions proposed in the EC’s strategy are short term, have no distinct timelines and do not provide a strong and clear action plan to strengthen Europe’s aviation industry.

Overall, ERA believes that the strategy will not increase the long-term competitiveness of the industry compared to other methods of transport and non-European competitors. However, ERA is ready to work with the EC, Council and Parliament to ensure that the strategy is modified to deliver on its original intent – a stronger, fitter and more efficient air transport system.

Simon McNamara, Director General of ERA, says: “We are pleased that the strategy recognises that aviation is a driver of economic growth, jobs, trade and mobility and that a strategic review of the sector is needed to ensure that European aviation remains competitive and maintains its leadership in a global market. However, many of the strategy’s action points lack substance and will not tackle some of the underlying weaknesses of the industry. For example, the imminent lack of hub airport capacity in Europe threatens ERA’s members’ access to Europe’s largest airports and risks a loss of connectivity to Europe’s regions.

“Investment in aviation is also critical, whether through new infrastructure, aircraft, systems or people. This needs to be driven by access to funding through channels, including the European Investment Bank, with a greater recognition of aviation’s role as a social and economic enabler for Europe and its citizens.

“The strategy is a step forward, but it needs more work to deliver on its intent and ERA is looking forward to working with the EC, Council and Parliament to strengthen the plan.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP December 9, 2015 15:34