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European Aeronautics : A vision for 2020 - Contents
European Aeronautics : A Vision for 2020


Establishing supportive public policy and regulation

Regulation is one of the means by which society ensures that its values and priorities are reflected in the procedures and operations of the air transport industry.


In 2020, regulatory arrangements are providing a clear and consistent regime within which aeronautics are developing and prospering. Most rules are standard around the world so that their impact does not favour one set of national interests over another.

The European Union's regulation of the sector now extends to more than 30 countries. Airlines are free to settle their own routes, capacities and fares subject to the competition rules in an enlarged internal market.

Safety is now regulated by a pan-European Aviation Safety Authority that has long since replaced the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). The Authority covers all aspects of the safety of civil aviation, including air traffic management, airport operations, aircraft certification and associated licensing of personnel. A high degree of global standardisation has also been achieved for safety rules.

Air Traffic Management now applies to a "single European sky" in which air space is assigned and managed as though national sovereign zones no longer existed. All European air traffic control providers, whether or not they are privatised, have reached world class standards of efficiency.


The Aircraft

In 2020, the aircraft is both the symbol and the reality of the globally competitive European aeronautics "system". It is the end product of the European way of organising and funding research and of applying its fruits. It is an expression of the depth of Europe's human talent and of the capacities of its companies to take on and withstand competition.

Aircraft design and production has been transformed, in particular, by the emerging technologies. From the first phases of conception, the structure, the systems and the engines have been integrated by Computer Aided Design, permitting huge reductions in production and manufacturing time and costs. This has been one factor making for cheaper air travel. Others have been lower operating and maintenance costs, better overall management of the aircraft and its use and the development of emerging technologies such as a new generation of lighter materials which are corrosion resistant, tolerant of damage and repairable as often as necessary.

Engines are still fuelled by hydrocarbons, their polluting emissions having been reduced to acceptable levels by efficient combustion, lighter airframes and better aerodynamics. However, low-polluting cryogenic fuels are becoming affordable.

Driven by the concepts "More Affordable, Safer, Cleaner and Quieter", the industry is working on more competitive aircraft designs with different configurations, although the classic cylindrical fuselage with engines hanging from low wings is still very much the dominant design at work in the world's skies.

Aircraft still at the computer-design phase are addressing society's needs as well as the market for the next generation of super-liners. These will carry the population of a large village - 1200 or so people - with superbly efficient fuel consumption in a new dimension of comfortable, cost-effective travel. This is by no means all: the industry is also ready for the development of niche markets for supersonic aircraft and freight-carrying airships, as well as the emergence of flying wings and innovative vertical take-off and landing vehicles.

The systems' equipment and components
In 2020, European leadership will be evident on aircraft throughout the world. The industry in Europe is the leading developer and supplier of avionics systems and its engines and systems are simply the best. Its prowess also extends to air traffic management (ATM). Such has been the success of the "European solution" for ATM, that a de facto world standard has been created.



For European Governments Parliament Union

Adopt more flexible approaches to the industry that encourage rather than hinder its adaptation to changes in the market.

Acknowledge that the competitiveness of industry is based both on civil and defence related products and that this has to be taken into account in optimising the R&T system.

Facilitate greater integration of European, national and private research programmes so that maximum value is obtained from available funds.

Ensure that education policies are directed at supplying the engineers, scientists and other skills aeronautics badly needs.

Act rapidly to implement the European Union's economic reform agenda including adoption of measures to encourage mobility, such as cross-border portable pensions and mutual recognition of qualifications, and to promote the rapid growth of electronic networks, eCommerce and eBusiness.

Ensure closer and more effective coordination of the positions of European governments in international institutions whose work impacts the aeronautics industry, supporting the creation of level playing-fields world-wide (e.g. the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Trade Organisation).


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