European Commission Press Release

European aviation: First environmental report points at sustainability challenge

The European Commission has published the first European Aviation Environmental Report, the result of close collaboration between the EC, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL. The main objective is to provide a regular overview of the environmental performances of the sector in order to plan suitable policy making measures. The report includes key performance indicators on noise, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Among the findings, forecast scenarios for the next 20 years show that with the expected increase in traffic the environmental sustainability of the sector will be increasingly challenged.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said "Aviation brings significant economic and social benefits to Europe, but also has an impact on the environment. The Aviation Strategy we adopted in December recognises that the future competitiveness of air transport goes hand in hand with its sustainability. Today's report will be instrumental to frame future policy. It is also a valuable contribution to the ongoing international discussions on measures to reduce emissions from aviation. In 2016, the EU will reach out to its partners to take global and ambitious steps."

Luc Tytgat, EASA’s Director for Strategy and Safety Management said: “This first edition of the European Aviation Environmental Report sets the scene for Europe’s ambition to make aviation more sustainable. As part of the revision of its responsibilities, the European Aviation Safety Agency will update this report every 3 years and intends to reinforce its role in in the field of environment in order to promote the highest standards for environmental protection in aviation.

Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of EEA, said: “It is clear that Europe’s aviation sector has an increasing impact on our health and environment. While aviation plays an important economic and social role, its increasing popularity will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and noise. These are key challenges Europe’s aviation experts and policy makers need to address to create a more sustainable sector.

Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL, said: “One of the key aspects of this Report is that all the different actions that are being taken in aviation are viewed from the environmental perspective so that awareness of aviation actions in environmental matters increases. As a result, citizens, politicians, policy makers, regulators and the industry now have a first overall picture of how European aviation is performing environmentally. We hope that this will be one of many such reports in the future, and we will be delighted to work with our partners on even more comprehensive forthcoming editions.”

Several indicators about the environmental impact of aviation were developed specifically for this report, which also highlights on-going initiatives by the industry and the EU in improving aviation’s environmental performance through the SES, SESAR and Clean Sky initiatives.