European governments have been urged to alter the continent’s aerospace management to assist the aviation sector in reducing carbon emissions. Member states have yet to adopt the Single European Sky program, which intends to enhance the management of air traffic by lowering both flight delays and emissions. Monday (21 November) at a session at the Carriers 2022 conference in London, industry leaders said that establishing Single European Sky (SES) would enable airlines to immediately reduce CO2 emissions.
Dale Keller, CEO of BAR UK, which represents overseas airlines flying to the UK, said: “The great tragedy is the complexity of European airspace. It’s a political problem and it’s criminal that it hasn’t been higher on the agenda at COP26 and COP27. We need to get the governments to have a political agreement and sort this out.”
Simon McNamara, UK country manager for IATA (International Air Transport Association), added: “Single European Sky has been lumbering on for years and years, and it never seems to happen. It’s criminal that it hasn’t happened as it’s an instant reduction in emissions.”
Earlier this year, the CEOs of many major European airlines said that the adoption of Single European Sky will have a greater immediate effect than the use of sustainable aviation fuels in reducing emissions by more than 10 percent (SAF).
Tim Alderslade, chief executive officer of Airlines UK, encouraged the British government to continue modernizing its airspace. Alderslade said that it was imperative for the sector to address “low-hanging fruit” such as sector needed to address airspace and decarbonizing airport operations. If this was not accomplished efficiently within the next several years, the credibility of the industry would be “at stake.”
He said that aviation was a “particularly tough industry to decarbonize,” which meant it would likely face further pressure in the future years as other sectors reduced their emissions more rapidly. Alderslade said that the UK government’s Jet Zero Strategy provided a “license for us to expand,” and that if they did not “get it right,” the industry’s anticipated 70 percent expansion between 2019 and 2050 might be jeopardized.