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”.