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European Commission - Press release

EU–Russia aviation summit: a way forward for more business growth and stronger cooperation

Brussels, 12 October 2011 - The EU–Russia aviation summit, taking place in St. Petersburg today and tomorrow, aims to enhance political, technical and industrial co-operation between Russia and the EU in the aviation sector. The two partners have a huge potential for strengthening cooperation in aviation which would generate substantial benefits for both sides.

“The EU and Russia have so much to gain from closer cooperation in the aviation sector, both in relation to safety, industrial cooperation, air traffic management, sustainable growth and investment”, said Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas. “I am confident that the EU–Russia aviation summit will mark a turning point in our aviation relations with Russia, which for too long have not been exploited to their full potential.”

The summit, jointly organised by the European Commission and the Russian Ministry of Transport, will be opened by Vice-President Siim Kallas, Mr. Cezary Grabarczyk, Minister of Infrastructure of Poland, representing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Mr Igor Levitin, Minister for Transport of the Russian Federation. The European delegation includes some 150 representatives from airlines, airports, aerospace industries, service providers, national governments, the European Commission and all key EU institutions in the field of aviation. In total, some 300 delegates will attend the aviation summit. A parallel exhibition on EU and Russia aviation opportunities and co-operation is also being organised.

The main issues to be addressed during the summit include:

  • Policy framework for the development of EU–Russia aviation relations and market prospects

  • Ensuring a sound legal and technical basis for EU–Russia aviation relations

  • Developments in the airline industry in Russia and the EU

  • Safety and security – challenges and potential for cooperation

  • Air traffic management, air traffic coordination and new technologies

  • Environmental implications of air transport

  • Business opportunities in the aeronautical industry

  • Airport policy, infrastructure and investment

During his visit to Russia, Vice-President Kallas will also have bilateral meetings with Russian leaders and executives in the air transport sector.

Air transport between the Russian Federation and the EU has grown significantly over the last five years (+10% a year for passengers). Growth rates for 2010 are particularly impressive, both for passengers (+22%) and even more so for freight (+43%).

The EU is by far Russia's largest international aviation market. More than 40% of all Russian passenger traffic is directed towards EU destinations. Although Russia accounts for a far smaller share of EU international air traffic to non-EU destinations now, it has the potential to become our second most important air transport market after the United States.

For further information and programme:

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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