Article

EUROCONTROL Director General Raúl Medina on aviation sustainability

EUROCONTROL Director General Raúl Medina

Taking to the stage on the “Europe for Aviation” stand at CANSO’s Airspace World, EUROCONTROL Director General, Raúl Medina shared his position on sustainability, underlining that for the air traffic management community “sustainability is not a nice to have, but a key issue for all of us”.

Introducing a high-level panel focusing on concrete contributions to sustainability through research, deployment and operations Raúl reminded the audience that while there is work on new aircraft designs and new propulsion systems, there is no single magic bullet; everyone in the aviation community needs to contribute. Efforts need to also include making existing aircraft more sustainable, reducing the use of engines when taxiing; as well as achieving more efficient vertical flight profiles and better horizontal routes. "But apart from ATM and operational improvements, there are more elements in the equation such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and market-based measures," he said. Raúl also highlighted that the debate on aviation sustainability cannot be dissociated from the energy transition: “We need to connect aviation with a new ecosystem where aircraft will be powered by electricity, hydrogen or SAFs. It is therefore essential to ensure that aviation can get access to enough renewable energy to decarbonise by 2050”.

Director General Raúl Medina

"To make aviation sustainable and to speed up decarbonisation we need to ensure that aviation has enough access to renewable energy"

Raúl emphasised the challenge in front of us: “by 2050, we not only have to achieve NetZero, we also have to handle an estimated 16 million flights in Europe’s skies”. He closed by saying that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 will require coordinated action by multiple players: the aircraft industry, airlines, airports, fuel companies, ANSPs, EUROCONTROL (especially in our role as Network Manager and innovation hub), governments and regulators.

Raúl’s work programme "Raising the Bar: Building EUROCONTROL 2030" firmly commits to sustainability and has set out EUROCONTROL’s plan to develop a brand-new platform of green services called “FlyingGreen” to support ECAC Member States and operational stakeholders in their efforts to decarbonise. The programme further refers to other areas of EUROCONTROL’s work on sustainability, the environmental footprint of the ATM infrastructure, climate change financing and adaptation, how to integrate new entrants such as zero emission aircraft into the European network and more.

The session also saw an introductory speech from ICAO President Salvatore Sciacchitano and an intervention on the EU’s Fit for 55 package by Henrik Hololei, at the time Director-General for Transport and Mobility at the European Commission. Raúl's intervention was followed by a high-level panel debate between SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking Executive Director Andreas Boschen, SESAR Deployment Manager Executive Director Mariagrazia La Piscopia, and Iacopo Prissinotti, EUROCONTROL Director Network Management.

Europe for Aviation

Raising the bar: Building EUROCONTROL 2030

Technology, innovation, international engagement, and people are the key drivers that will allow us to achieve our goals and keep delivering tangible added value to the aviation community.

Raising the bar: Building EUROCONTROL 2030
Raising the bar: Building EUROCONTROL 2030

Raising the bar: Building EUROCONTROL 2030

Technology, innovation, international engagement, and people are the key drivers that will allow us to achieve our goals and keep delivering tangible added value to the aviation community.

Flying Green

Raising the aviation bar

More details on #FlyingGreen are also available in the second episode of EUROCONTROL’s podcast “Raising the Aviation Bar”.

Sustainability Issue 8

Aviation Sustainability Briefing

Read & download the full edition and subscribe to get notified of the next one!

Read our Aviation Sustainability Briefing

Read & download the full edition and subscribe to get notified of the next one!

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