Aviation Sustainability Briefing #4 - Editor's note

Marylin Bastin

"The ReFuelEU Aviation proposal is convincing because while it demands investment from the aviation sector, it also gives the necessary incentives to boost decarbonisation."

Editorial by Marylin Bastin
Head of Aviation Sustainability

Welcome to our fourth edition of the EUROCONTROL Aviation Sustainability Briefing.

The publication of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” package aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 has given new impulse to the debate on aviation decarbonisation. The revision of the EU Emission Trading System or the proposal to tax kerosene and consequently increase carbon pricing did not come as a surprise, as European Union leaders need to deliver on their commitment to climate neutrality by 2050.

A higher price tag, at least in the short to medium term, is equally expected as a consequence of the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal. However, the mandate proposed by the Commission for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), also including synthetic fuels, gives the aviation and energy sectors a policy framework for accelerating the uptake of SAF. In my view, this is why the proposal is so convincing: while it demands investment from the aviation sector, it also gives the necessary incentives to boost decarbonisation.

In this 4th edition of EUROCONTROL’s Aviation Sustainability Briefing we provide our readers with a brief overview on what “Fit for 55” could mean for European aviation, and I am especially grateful to Flor Diaz Pulido, Head of Aviation Policy at the European Commission, who took the time to discuss the RefuelEU Aviation proposal with us during our recent Stakeholder Forum.

Our search for answers on how to make aviation sustainable continues in our day-to-day work and in especially in our collaboration with our partners. I am delighted that my colleagues Davide Tassi (ENAV), Jarlath Molloy (NATS) and Francine Carron (skeyes) have shared their views on EUROCONTROL’s Think Paper on decarbonising Europe’s air traffic management (ATM) ground infrastructure in this edition. With an estimated 6.2+ million tonnes of CO2 emissions savings possible by 2050, this is an area of significant potential for decarbonisation.

Sustainability Issue 4

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Our last Climate Change Risk Study for European Aviation has also been published as announced by our Director General in our previous edition. I would like to thank Denise Pronk (Royal Schiphol Group), Olav Mosvold Larsen (Avinor) and Juliana Scavuzzi (ACI World) for sharing their views and experience on the resilience of the aviation sector.

Last but not least, thank you to Athar Husain Khan (EBAA) and Kyle Martin (GAMA) for their contribution to our article on business/general aviation. This part of the aviation sector is already playing a significant role in facilitating aviation decarbonisation thanks to their commitment to SAF usage, and the innovative aviation technology already deployed on many of their flights.

I hope you will enjoy reading this edition. I look forward to any feedback you may have!

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