The aviation industry must deliver a more credible response to the challenges confronting it, the European Commission’s Transport Commissioner Henrik Hololei said on 12 March in his keynote conference address at the 2019 World ATM Congress.
“Last year was a stark reminder of the rising capacity crisis in the air and on the ground. We need to find the appropriate balancing mechanism to manage the impact on the environment,” he added.
Delays and re-routings have the opposite effect, adding 5% to carbon emissions in 2018. Hololei acknowledged that free route airspace has saved more than 2.6 million tonnes of CO 2 since 2014 by allowing airlines to fly more direct routes, but added that more needs to be done. “We need to make the air traffic management [ATM] system more efficient, flexible, scalable, and sustainable.”
The Commission is exploring a new airspace architecture with primary stakeholders and “moving towards a service-oriented system, based on exchange of data and also virtualisation”, and Hololei noted that the biggest changes will come from digital data and artificial intelligence, but momentum in the SESAR modernisation programme must not be allowed to slacken. “The time to speed up deployment of SESAR is now. Complacency is not an option.”
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