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IP/10/1385

Brussels, 26 October 2010

Vice-President Kallas to attend summit on how to improve competitiveness of European aviation industry

European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas will today and tomorrow attend an aviation summit dedicated to the competitive challenges facing the European aviation industry. The summit in Bruges is organised by the Belgian presidency.

Vice President Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "The European aviation business must remain able to compete with global competitors. Global competitiveness must be integrated in European safety, security or environmental policies so that these policies produce the desired results. Europe must also deliver funding solutions to finance new technologies to strengthen the foundations of the competitiveness of its industry."

The Vice-President congratulated the Belgian Presidency on organising the aviation summit, which highlights the competitive challenges facing our aviation industry.

Vice President Kallas added that: "Europe is fully committed to deliver the highest safety standards; ensure a smooth and adequate security system; and facilitate the greening of aviation. This will require innovative solutions to fund the necessary investments in new technologies, which are key in achieving these objectives."

Freedom to travel has become a normal commodity in today's societies. Europe should further improve the competitiveness of its aviation industry in line with the needs of the Single European Transport area. The European aviation industry plays a pivotal role in providing the economy with an engine to prosper. In parallel, the already good safety and security record of aviation in Europe should be truly improved. By 2012, all links of the safety chain will be covered by fully harmonised set of EU safety rules. The common rules are the basis for a pro-active monitoring process of the safety situation. For security, a strategy based on risk assessment, better use of technology and international cooperation with third countries should ensure the highest protection of our citizens, while striking the right balance with travel comfort for our passengers. Aviation should also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The recent historic agreement within ICAO has confirmed that Europe is entitled to go forward more quickly than others in the framework of a global action plan.

Europe must coordinate the investment efforts, especially the investments in the modernisation of air traffic management; timing and synchronisation of investments; governance structures of the SESAR deployment. Overall efficiency must be improved to give travellers and companies more value for money.

The conclusions of the Aviation Summit will be presented for endorsement to the Transport Ministers at the December 2010 Transport Council.

See also SPEECH/10/596.


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