2007-04-22 - European aviation summitEuropean Aviation Summit calls for fair competitive conditions
Luftfahrt fordert fairen Wettbewerb<br /> At the European Aviation Summit in Frankfurt on 16 April, more than 300 decision makers from airlines, airports and industry associations advocated the strengthening of Europe's base in commercial aviation.
The Air Transport Initiative for Germany (Initiative Luftverkehr für Deutschland) also made an appeal to German and European politicians to create a level playing field in global air transportation. "Europe's economic success depends decisively on locational conditions," said Wolfgang Tiefensee, Germany's transport minister and summit patron, in his opening speech.
Expansion of the central aviation infrastructure and creation of a single European airspace will create extraordinary opportunities for securing the economic future of Europe and, at the same time, for a sustainable reduction in environmental impact. "Because of insufficient infrastructure both on the ground and in the air, we are today forced to fly holding patterns at an unprecedented rate. With the amount of wasted kerosene we could operate eleven daily flights from Frankfurt to New York," said Wolfgang Mayrhuber, executive board chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Dieter Kaden, managing director of DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (German Air Navigation Services) also calls for the speedy implementation of a Single European Sky the European Union's biggest environmental project: "This would reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by up to 12 percent every year not implementing this until the target year 2020 will damage both the environment and the economy."
Air traffic is growing at a rate of five percent annually. Passenger volume will double within the next 15 to 20 years. The significance of air transportation as an economic and job engine is continuously increasing. Already today, the German aviation industry provides direct or indirect employment for approximately one million people in Germany. The number will grow in keeping with the dynamic underlying growth trend. However, to protect our opportunities it is necessary to create the prerequisites for providing a demand-driven infrastructure. Expansion of the central
German and European commercial airports is imperative, the more so as our com-petitors are making available enormous airport capacities in a record time. "The strong growth of air traffic demand in the future cannot be met with yesterday's infrastructure," said Fraport AG's executive board chairman Dr. Wilhelm Bender. And Dr. Michael Kerkloh, president and chief executive officer of Flughafen München GmbH, added: "We see a good chance that air transportation will continue to create growth and economic added value in Germany in the future."
The Initiative unanimously commended further opening up of the air transport market. "Now, further harmonization of the rules is required," explained the initiators. The differences in environmental, security, and consumer protection regulations are still too great. Subsidies must definitely become a thing of the past, because they create competitive distortions and also prevent further market consolidation.