is my pleasure to present what I believe is a landmark report
in the history of Europe's aeronautics. I hope it will be read
not only by the industry's stakeholders and by policy-makers
in European and national institutions, but also by a broader
public in whose lives air transport now plays such an important
forming the Group of Personalities, I gave them a deceptively
simple task: to produce, in the context of implementing the
European Research Area, a vision for aeronautics in the year
2020. This is not a distant deadline but a sensible reflection
of the lead times in the research, development and manufacturing
of many of the industry's products and services. It seemed to
me that only such a unique grouping could identify a formula
for transforming the sector from a follower into a global leader
over this period.
industry must rise to this challenge and confront the competitive
pressures imposed on it both by the rapid development of globalisation
and environmental needs. Since this process is also fuelling
such a strong growth in passenger demand that air traffic will
triple over the next 20 years, the Group's vision has had to
encompass the air transport system and not just the manufacture
of aircraft and equipment.
is why its members are drawn from the airport and airline sectors,
regulators and air traffic managers as well as from airframe,
engine and equipment manufacturers. The results of their work
have more than satisfied my request for a thoughtful analysis
of how a reorganisation of our research and development efforts
could both better serve society's needs and also strengthen
a quest for global leadership. The way we do things at the moment,
at both national and European levels, has failed to keep pace
with changes in the industry's own structures.
inclusive vision is precisely what Europe needs in order to
arrive at a safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly air
transport system that will strengthen the competitiveness of
its increasingly integrated economy. It will help to deliver
European excellence with a global dimension because that is
what the market now requires.
vision set down in the following pages is imaginative and ambitious
without ever straying into science fantasy. Crucially, it calls
for a more strategic approach to the identification of research
priorities and new mechanisms for forging a consensus among
stakeholders in pursuit of these priorities. It also proposes
the launch of new forms of cross-border collaboration in the
application of research, with additional financial support from
the European Union.
Aeronautics: A Vision for 2020 provides rich material for
a great debate on precisely how the European dimension can generate
more efficient and effective research for a sector that is crucial
for the continent's economic future. The Commission will lead
that debate and in a short time draw the appropriate conclusions.
Then it will be time for the Union and its Member States to
join aeronautics stakeholders in a new partnership dedicated
to capturing the vision described in this report.
I would like to thank all members of the Group for the time
and attention they have devoted to this exercise and their commitment
to see its conclusions implemented.