Issue n° 234 - 07 December 2015

Mobility and transport

In the spotlight

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Commission presents an Aviation Strategy for Europe

The European Commission has adopted today an Aviation Strategy for Europe, a milestone initiative to boost Europe's economy, strengthen its industrial base and reinforce its global leadership position. These are three core priorities of President Jean-Claude Juncker, on which the Strategy will deliver, by ensuring that the European aviation sector remains competitive and reaps the benefits of a fast-changing and developing global economy.

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Commissioner's corner

Commissioner Bulc announces her Twitter chat about the Aviation Strategy on 8 December 2015, 2-3pm:

"I will do a twitter chat on #AviationStrategyEU . Tweet your questions using #AviationChat !"

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Transport tweet of the week

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"Why an #AviationStrategyEU ? Take a look at the challenges for air transport in Europe: "

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Figure of the month

335 million

In 2014, 335 million passengers flew in and out of the EU.

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We were asked about...

Question asked by Jill Seymour (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, EFDD)

Subject: Aircraft security - two people in the cockpit

It has been reported that airlines may now insist that at least two people are in the cockpit at any given time, to prevent a repeat of the tragedy involving a Germanwings flight where the pilot is alleged to have locked another pilot out of the cockpit before crashing the plane in an act of suicide.

Does the Commission intend to make legislation mandating that there are always at least two people in the cockpit at any given time, as is already the case with some airlines? If so, could the Commission please provide details, including a timetable of action ?

Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the Commission (20.11.2015)

Following the accident of Germanwings Flight 9525 a Task Force was convened at Commission request to analyse the preliminary findings of the accident investigation and to assess the adequacy of European air safety and security rules. That Task Force led by European Air Safety Agency (EASA) delivered in July 2015 six recommendations, one of which confirms the temporary safety measure recommended earlier to the airlines by EASA to observe the "four-eye-rule" in the cockpit.

The Commission has recently published an Action Plan developed by EASA, which outlines how the Agency intends to implement these recommendations, in collaboration with the Commission. The implementation of all actions is planned to be finished by the end of 2016.

In March and April 2016 EASA will collect and analyse data about the implementation of the 2-persons-in-the-cockpit recommendation through a specific questionnaire. A report will then be issued in June 2016 including a decision about the way forward. Depending on the outcome, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material may be developed.

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