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Brussels, 29 January 2001
Commissioner Busquin and European aeronautics
sector present their ‘2020 Vision’
Keywords: aeronautics, European Research Area
Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will today unveil the strategy paper on European aeronautics which he asked a group of high-ranking persons to develop. The 2001 Hamburg Aeronautics Days will set the scene for airlines, airports, regulators, air traffic managers, aircraft manufacturers and researchers to make their ideas and needs known and to embrace a European perspective. For Philippe Busquin, the rationale behind this vision is clear: “The competitiveness of our aeronautics industry depends on research. If Europe wants to stay a global player in the aeronautics world it cannot afford to fragment its research effort or to waste resources through duplication or lack of co-ordination. The way research is organised at the moment has failed to keep pace with changes in the industry’s own structures. I offer my help in this co-ordination effort by making aeronautics a showcase for the implementation of the European research Area and by making it a priority in the proposal for the next Framework Programme for Research, which the Commission should adopt in some weeks.”
Whilst the European aeronautics sector is well organised and strong in terms of aircraft production, its research effort lags substantially behind that of the USA, and is scattered in various national programmes and centres. Philippe Busquin states that “much has already been achieved, but we are now at the point where everything is possible and nothing can be taken for granted” adding that “the days of ‘Higher, Further, Faster’ are definitely counted and must be replaced by ‘More affordable, Safer, Cleaner, Quieter’. This is one of the reasons why I have asked the aeronautics sector to present their vision of the future.”
Europe’s aeronautics sector faces stark challenges in the coming 20 years. It is expected that air traffic volume will triple until 2020 and a new aircraft generation will need to be developed to face environmental and safety concerns voiced by citizens and politicians alike. Air traffic control needs to be improved and unified, and the sector will face increasing liberalisation as well as more competition from known players and new entrants. Moreover, the “2020 Vision” paper sets ambitious targets, which will require substantial investment in research and technology development.
The targets are:
The ‘2020 Vision’ report makes two main recommendations:
- a five-fold reduction in accidents
- the halving of perceived aircraft noise
- a 50% cut in CO˛ emissions per passenger kilometre (halving of fuel consumption)
- an 80% cut in nitrogen oxide emissions
- an air traffic system capable of handling 16 million flights a year with 24-hour operation of airports and more comfort for passengers.
- The creation of an Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe
- The use of different forms of co-operation, in particular between national programmes and the European Union, as well as transnational partnerships in the best possible way to achieve the above goals.
The Commission intends to set up the Advisory Council by mid 2001 and will think about ways to enable a reinforced co-operation between Member States, if problems can neither be solved at a national level nor tackled at community level. This could be achieved through judicious application of Article 169 of the Treaty, which allows for a great flexibility in the handling and fixing of the rules of the game if several Member States have agreed to embark on a common action.
- The aeronautics industry directly employs 400.000 people in Europe and generates about 1.5 million jobs indirectly.
- In 1999, the industry produced revenues exceeding €65 billion, involving over 7 000 companies.
- The industry exports more than 50 % of its products and generated net exports of more than €22 billion making it the biggest export industry in Europe.
- In aeronautics, about 15% of revenues are invested into research and development, which is about htree times more than in other industries.
- The Commission’s research budget for aeronautics from 1998 to 2002 is €700 million; a call for research proposals worth €230 million is open until the end of March 2001
- About 10 years ago, aeronautics research did not exist on Community level. Today, about 30% of all public civilian research in this sector is funded by the EU, some projects receive funding up to €100 million.
The document Vision 2020 and more information about EU aeronautics research can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/growth/gcc/ka04.html
For further information, please contact:
Stephen Gosden, Press and Information Officer, Research DG
Tel: +22.214.171.124079, E-mail: Stephen.Gosden@ec.europa.eu
PRESS RELEASES | 29.01.2001