Commissioner Barrot seeks views of European governments and industry
(20.09.2006) -- In an unprecedented initiative, Commissioner Barrot convened leaders of Europe's aviation industry together with their regulators in a one-day High-Level Conference in Brussels today, 20 September, on the theme of 'The Future of Aviation Regulation in Europe'.
Representing Europe's major network airlines, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines, presented his vision of a regulatory landscape tailored to the needs of a key European industry and its customers.
"Our airlines want to offer their passengers a safe, direct, comfortable and affordable flight from A to B", he said, "and yet their costs are increasing because of an array of national, pan-European, EU and international agencies that all regulate aviation in Europe and levy all sorts of fees and charges. We have one Single European market for 25 European sovereign states."
The AEA has commended the Transport Commissioner for "being serious" about a dialogue between the European aviation sector and the EU Commission on how Europe's competitiveness could be enhanced. "The consultation with European Member States and industry is a "methode a la Barrot" which should become institutionalised throughout Europe," said Schulte-Strathaus. "We have regulators at regional, national and EU level. But we actually need only one European safety agency, like the USA, for one single (European) market. And we have industry involvement in the creation of one Single Air Traffic Management in Europe for one Single European Sky. Surely there is room for simplification."
The AEA feels that regulators should "facilitate" the task of airlines to provide safe air services in open and fair competition for European consumers. "That is the added value we expect from the European Union for Europe's aviation sector - to help us become sustainably competitive globally".