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Brussels, 10 March 2011

Commission welcomes support from the Aviation Platform for long-term strategy for research and innovation in aviation

The European Commission has today welcomed the Aviation Platform's support for "Vision 2050", a long-term strategy for research and innovation in aviation" which is being developed by a group of European top-level representatives of the European aeronautics and aviation industry. They are working on a proposal for an ambitious research and innovation strategy to put Europe at the forefront of competitive, clean, safe and secure aviation by 2050. Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, especially appreciates the industry's commitment to clean aviation, integrating air transport into seamless transport chains and striving for European leadership in the global business.

Vice-President Kallas said: "Aviation needs new green technologies and biofuels to reduce its impact on the environment. Smart services must make air travelling efficient and reliable also in case of unforeseen events. Air and ground transport must be seamlessly connected so that people reach their destinations as planned, with a single ticket and no hassle with baggage or security controls. This 'Vision' will come timely to tell us where industry sees the priorities for the implementation of the EU2020 Strategy."

The Aviation Platform met for the second time in Brussels today (10 March). 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. The members of this platform are top-level personalities from the aviation sector – representing airlines, airports, trade unions, air traffic management and the aviation industry.

After its endorsement by the Aviation Platform, Mr Kallas and members of the High-level Group on Aviation Research will present the "Vision 2050" at the Aeronautical Days 2011 in Madrid on 30 March to 1 April.

European aviation faces many challenges, including the shift in economic power, emerging new competitors and reducing its impact on the environment. Safety and security remain high priorities and air transport needs to be better connected to the other transport modes.

The Aviation Platform also referred to the “Budapest charter” which concluded the air traffic management conference of 3 and 4 March in Budapest. This charter agrees on short and long term actions for the implementation of the Single European Sky, allocated to the European Commission, States and the various aviation stakeholders.

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