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European Commission - Press release

Aviation: Transport Commissioner calls for closer collaboration on technology

Brussels, 21 June 2011 - Siim Kallas, Vice-president of the European Commission, has called for stronger collaboration on technology in order to unlock the full benefits of having a Single European Sky. The Commissioner in charge of transport made his appeal during a visit to the 49th edition of the Paris Air Show on 21 June 2011. Vice-President Kallas said that the technologies and procedures needed to achieve the Single European Sky should be implemented in the same way across Europe as soon as possible. This is why by October 2011, the Commission will submit a proposal to the Council for making the transition to the SESAR deployment phase go smoothly, with special attention given to funding and governance.

Vice-President Kallas said: "During my visit to the air show, I have seen the strong innovation capability of the air transport sector. Amongst them, the 'unmanned air systems', extremely visible at the Paris Air Show, illustrate the diversity that technology must address without compromising safety. These new technologies and procedures must be deployed to contribute towards meeting the objectives of the Single European Sky."

Vice-President Kallas has launched the new Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe ("ACARE 2") during his visit to the air show. He opened the kick-off meeting in the presence of senior industry representatives. This assembly of all aviation stakeholders, European institutions and Member States takes the process initiative with the "Flightpath 2050" report further and will prepare a new European roadmap for research and innovation in aviation, looking beyond the Single European Sky and SESAR horizons up to 2050. Its first concrete steps will be to address the environmental and energy challenges of aviation by launching a European roadmap for the deployment of sustainable biofuels in aviation, which will be announced by Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, also at the Paris Air Show.

Vice-President Kallas also took advantage of his visit to the air show to stress that the performance scheme and the functional airspace blocks are crucial tests of our collective will and credibility to deliver concrete benefits. He said: "We have to keep ambitions high, and I hope each Member State will do its utmost to adopt challenging plans to enable us to meet the European Union's targets in the key performance areas of capacity/delays and cost efficiency. Simultaneously, the establishment of functional airspace blocks in December 2012 by which Member States collectively re-design and rationalise their airspace in order to better respond to airspace users' needs will contribute to the defragmentation of airspace and should allow important economies of scale."

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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