New ED Aviation Platform to address challenges for the European aviation sector
today met top-level representatives of the European aviation sector to discuss
future challenges for aviation in Europe at the first-ever meeting of the Aviation
Platform. The Aviation Platform has been set up to give strategic advice to the
Vice President in order to establish the basis for a sustainable future for air
transport and a competitive future for the European aviation industry.
Vice-President Kallas said: “Air transport is facing tremendous challenges and
is under increased pressure to respond to business and policy requirements. It
is therefore vital to reflect strategically on its future in Europe. In order
to maintain the competitiveness of the European economy and to satisfy the mobility
needs of Europe’s citizens and businesses, we need an efficient, reliable and
affordable air transport system.”
The Aviation Platform met for the first time in Brussels today (20 October).
Vice-President Kallas invited 15 top-level personalities from the aviation sector
– representing airlines, airports, trade unions, air traffic management and the
aviation industry – as members of the Aviation Platform. It is foreseen that the
Platform, which is chaired by the Vice President, will meet twice per year to
discuss the strategic challenges for the European aviation sector.
The Commission announced the establishment of an Aviation Platform in the wake
of April’s volcanic ash cloud crisis. EU Transport Ministers and stakeholder representatives
welcomed the creation of the Aviation Platform as a means to engage in a strategic
In spite of the global economic crisis, more than 750 million passengers departed
from or arrived at EU airports in 2009. The aviation industry (which includes
airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, groundhandling providers,
maintenance organisations) directly employs about 700,000 people in Europe. Until
recently, air transport in Europe had shown high growth rates, despite facing
increasing environmental and capacity challenges.
The main conclusions from the Platform include the need to:
– Ensure the full implementation of the Single Sky, as agreed by Governments.
The EU Single European Sky is an ambitious initiative launched by the European
Commission in 2004 to reform the architecture of European air traffic management.
– Extend the work already being done by the Commission to strengthen the possibilities
for European aviation to enter new markets – though the signing of bi-lateral
– Define an effective governance structure for the future deployment of SESAR
(Singe European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) the technological arm of
– Extend the Single Sky principles to areas beyond the borders of the European
– A decision by the Vice President to establish a high level group on aviation
research to look into the specific challenges faced by aviation sector in this
Annex: Members of the Aviation Platform
– FranÃ§ois Ballestero, Political Secretary Civil Aviation and Tourism, European
Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF)
– Capt. Martin Chalk, President of the European Cockpit Association
– Claude ChÃªne, Special Adviser to Vice-President Kallas
– Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer of NATS Ltd
– Louis Gallois, Chief Executive Officer of European Aeronautic Defence and Space
Company EADS N.V.
– Massimo Garbini, Director General of ENAV S.p.A.
– Jacek Krawczyk, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of LOT Polish Airlines S.A.,
Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee
– Rein Loik, Chairman of the Management Board of Tallinn Airport Ltd
– Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG
– Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer of easyJet plc
– Ad Rutten, Chief Operations Officer of Schiphol Group, President of the Board
of Airports Council International – Europe
– Antonis Simigdalas, Chief Executive Officer of Olympic Air S.A.
– Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air France-KLM
– Niky Terzakis, Managing Director of TNT Airways SA
– Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of British Airways plc and current Chairman
of the Presidents’ Committee of the Association of European Airlines
– Daniel Weder, Chief Executive Officer of Skyguide Swiss Air Navigation Services