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Vice-President of the European Commission
Opening remarks to the 38th ICAO Assembly
24 September 2013
President, distinguished delegates,
This assembly will set the stage for the future development of international aviation. What is decided here over the next two weeks can — and should — have paramount importance in creating the regulatory conditions that this vital global industry needs to secure its future growth.
On safety, ICAO's work has progressed well and in line with the resolution of the 37th assembly. We are pleased that a new Annex 19 was incorporated into the Chicago Convention on Safety Management.
On air navigation and air traffic management, after the successful 12th Air Navigation Conference, we hope the assembly will be able to agree on the global air navigation plan and set out the right roadmap and priorities for the eventual modernisation of the world's ATM system.
On security, using last year’s high-level aviation security conference as a starting point, we want to help ICAO progress towards a more secure security system that is also more efficient. We believe this can be achieved by increasing mutual recognition between states and regions, as well as risk-based rules.
On air transport, I would recall the conclusions of the 6th ICAO Air Transport Conference on key areas such as market access, liberalisation of air carrier ownership and control, fair competition and consumer rights.
Europe supports these conclusions.
Finally, we all know that the public and aviation world want and expect us to reach an agreement on aviation and the environment, and aviation emissions in particular.
On this, I would like to state the following. This assembly is the best forum to deliver the global solution that aviation needs. I believe such a solution is now within reach.
For aviation to keep growing, it must be seen as a responsible global citizen. Our aim is to find global consensus, by promoting more advanced technologies, using sustainable alternative aviation fuels, better procedures in air navigation and — last but not least — providing for market-based measures. We need all these elements for a successful outcome.
Given the growth forecasts in aviation, market-based measures are integral to the global response to the challenge posed by aviation emissions. It is notable that the world's aviation industry calls for MBMs as part of that response, as confirmed by the work that they have carried out over the last few years. We welcome IATA’s proposals on a global scheme as a very positive step forward.
Europe believes firmly that at this ICAO Assembly we should decide to develop, by 2016, a global market-based measure for international aviation that can start in 2020. Until that date, countries or groups of countries should — within certain parameters — be able to deploy national and regional MBMs. We also want to see a fair and equitable solution that can accommodate the special circumstances of some states.
In supporting such a "package", Europe has moved a long way over recent months. International aviation will benefit enormously from a global approach if we are in a position to agree. It is a unique opportunity and a pivotal moment to forge a meaningful global solution.
President, distinguished delegates, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us. I sincerely wish that this conference succeeds in its ambitious goals.