The European aviation sector is taking proactive steps to ensure that flying in the region is efficient and environmentally friendly. A coalition of associations representing airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, aviation manufacturers, and business aviation have joined forces.
They have collectively pledged to work together towards achieving the European Union’s Green Deal objective of climate neutrality by 2050 while also focusing on optimizing airspace capacity. This collaborative effort aims to make Europe the world’s most sustainable and efficient sky for air travel.
Participating aviation industry groups include:
- Airlines for Europe (A4E): Europe’s largest airline association.
- ACI-EUROPE: Airports Council International Europe, which represents Europe’s airports.
- AIRE: a long-standing airline association founded in 1971.
- ASD: an association representing European Aerospace Security and Defence industries.
- CANSO: the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization
- EBAA: the European Business Aviation Association
- ERA: the European Regions Airline Association
- IATA: the International Air Transport Association
Optimized ATM is a Key Technological Pathway
One of the main ways to bring about significant changes in the near future is by improving the European air traffic management (ATM) system. The number of passengers in Europe is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024. It is crucial to enhance the efficiency of the ATM system and increase its capacity to meet the rising demand. This can be achieved by implementing innovative digital solutions developed under the EU’s Single European Sky ATM Research Programme (SESAR).
The most recent report from the Single European Sky’s Performance Review Body reveals challenges in managing airspace. Some Member States need to make essential infrastructure investments. As the aviation industry rebounds, there is increasing strain on Europe’s airspace capacity. This strain has led to a significant surge in flight delays last year, with a staggering 400% increase.
The Role of ATM in Aviation Sustainability
Inefficient flight paths and flight delays burn excess fuel, which results in a greater CO2 footprint for aviation. Furthermore, optimizing flight paths through advanced technology can reduce non-CO2 emissions, including contrails.
European Aviation Joint Industry Declaration
To start this transformation, the aviation associations will collaborate to update the EU ATM Master Plan. This serves as a roadmap for SESAR. Through this declaration and collaboration, Europe’s aviation stakeholders intend to create a more sustainable and efficient aviation industry for the benefit of all Europeans.