Page 61 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
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Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation      61


of its kind: setting the framework         while both files share an obvious link      an indicator should take into account
for cheap air tickets, an increased        with the environment and the fight          not only frequency and time of a
connectivity throughout the EU and         against climate change and while both       connection but environmental aspects
the development of a strong and safe       discussions took place more or less         and the availability of other modes
European aeronautics industry.             in parallel, instinctively no one would     of transport.
                                           draw any link between them. That is a
Thirty years later, while aviation is      pity because the aviation sector, to a      The success of the CleanSky
becoming more popular, in a trend that     certain extent, can be a practice field     programme proves that a combination
seems to be irreversible, EU policy is in  for experiments in the field of the         of technology and innovation are the
need of fresh air to respond to the new    circular economy, whether is it for waste   path to success in reducing emissions.
set-up of the international scene, where   management or recyclable fuels.             Galileo is another example of an EU
international competition is growing                                                   programme whose potential for the
as much as the awareness about             Too often transport policies are            aviation sector still needs to be fully
climate change. With the publication       excluded from the spotlight, either         seized, for instance to enable more
of its Aviation Strategy for Europe, the   because they seem too technical             optimised landing operations.
Commission initiated a momentum for        or because we fail to demonstrate
the redefinition of a long term vision     their impact on the everyday life,          The aviation sector is not limited
for the sector, which I tried to input     and the only moment we remember             to air travel and the reduction of
through my report.                         about transport is to blame it for its      emissions also concerns airports and
                                           emissions. Actually, the fact is that       all their operational activities. Many
A strategy for aviation in Europe          transport policies are about mobility       airports are already investing in more
can only be such if we take a              and therefore whoever claims that the       efficient facilities and equipment to
comprehensive view of the aviation         answer to less emission is less air travel  reduce emissions and noise for their
sector as such, if we include it in a      is mistaken. Not only this is denying that  operations and those initiatives should
complete picture of the transport          in quite few cases there is no alternative  be encouraged. Another relevant
sector as a whole, and eventually          to air connection, but this easy way        aspect is the actual access to airports:
if it reflects upon the integration of     out is also neglecting the performance      if for many airports we can already
transport policies within other policies.  of the EU aeronautic industry and the       identify the least polluting way to
Only then we can aim at concerted          even greater potential that is facing it.   reach the airport, for some airports
actions that will enable to produce a      Of course this doesn’t mean that we         there seems to be no alternative to
truly efficient EU policy against          should blindly support air connections      private cars.
climate change.                            between every single city in the EU.
                                                                                       Fighting climate change creates an
A common mistake in policy making is       A key element of the strategy is the        opportunity for our industries, but the
the temptation to adopt a fragmented       integration of the aviation sector within   same opportunities are open to their
approach: dealing with one topic           the other modes of transport and that       competitors as well and that is why I
after the other. Too often the risk        is why I support the development of an      wish for EU industries to make a full
is to end up with a lack of global         air connectivity index which should aim     use of the available EU programmes
coherence or to miss on opportunities.     at a resilient transport network, built on  and funds to strengthen their position
An example is the aviation strategy        the complementarity of each modes           and to lead the way towards the
and the circular economy package:          of transport. In order to do so, such       decarbonisation of air travel. l
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