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General Aviation

General aviation in the EU is a diverse and dynamic sector undergoing rapid changes. It involves a wide spectrum of aircraft ranging from gliders to complex business jets and provision of high value services such as aerial works or emergency and business door-to-door transportation. It constitutes an important part of the EU aeronautical industry.

Until recently, addressing the specificities of general aviation at the EU level was not necessary. However, with the extension of the Community competences in aviation safety and security, upgrade of the Single European Sky and growing concerns about environmental impacts of aviation, EU activities have an increasing relevance also for this sector.

General aviation in Europe comprises mainly small and medium sized enterprises or not-for-profit organisations having limited resources to keep up with the ongoing regulatory changes. Proportionality of regulations is therefore of the utmost importance for this sector.

On the industrial side, EU general aviation industry is breaking out to the world markets in an unprecedented way. That momentum needs to be sustained by proper regulation and stimulation of innovation and research.

Despite technological developments, general aviation is affecting the environment and like the wider airline industry or any other transport means, needs to contribute to reducing these impacts.

To address these challenges the European Commission, following broad consultations, adopted on 11 January 2008 its Communication "An Agenda for Sustainable Future in General and Business Aviation".