Aviation business should ’embrace change’, says Rome airport chief – EURACTIV.com


As public opinion turns in opposition to polluting industries and lawmakers mull more and more punitive inexperienced taxes, shifting to low-carbon flying will safeguard the financial success of the aviation sector, Rome’s airport chief has stated. 

Marco Troncone, the CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, stated that the sector have to be sensible about its decarbonisation targets, managing expectations within the brief time period and exhibiting a concrete plan for decarbonisation within the coming years. 

“We can’t threat being criticised by public opinion. Some flight shaming traits are already in place. We can’t be topic to restrictive or punishing insurance policies made up of punitive taxation. That is the chance we have now to keep away from,” he stated.

Whereas the extent of aviation emissions is low when taken on a world scale, this shouldn’t be an alibi for inaction, in response to Troncone.

The airport chief was talking at a roundtable on Tuesday (24 January) highlighting the “Pact for the decarbonisation of air transport”, which gathers aviation business gamers to chart a path to decarbonise the Italian aviation sector by 2050. 

The occasion was held within the European Parliament and hosted by MEP Marco Campomenosi, an Italian lawmaker with the right-wing Id and Democracy group.

The local weather affect of flying, chargeable for round 3% of worldwide emissions, has seen the expansion of the “flight-shaming” motion, and spurred the French authorities to introduce a ban on some home flights on local weather grounds – developments which have set alarm bells ringing within the aviation sector.

The carbon depth of aviation additionally places the sector vulnerable to being excluded from the EU’s inexperienced taxonomy record, which gives steering on sustainable funding choices, probably harming non-public capital funding flows.

Troncone stated that as world focus strikes from guaranteeing power safety within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine again to local weather change, the aviation sector might discover itself in a “very susceptible, very harmful state of affairs”.

By overtly speaking the journey in direction of lowering emissions, the backlash in opposition to the business shall be prevented, guaranteeing aviation can preserve its popularity as an essential supply of worldwide connectivity, he added.

The sector ought to be sincere that emissions might rise within the subsequent few years, Troncone stated, as demand rebounds within the wake of COVID and carbon-cutting measures corresponding to inexperienced jet fuels and clear flight expertise are but to be launched at scale.

Nonetheless, a rise in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), the shift to renewable power at airports, and larger route effectivity will see aviation emissions fall considerably within the medium to long run.

Talking on the occasion, Henrik Hololei, the director-general of the EU’s transport ministry, echoed the pressing want for the aviation sector to scrub its operations.

“Aviation merely can’t proceed with enterprise as regular. I feel everybody agrees with that. Aviation has to turn into way more sustainable,” he stated.

“I’d by no means say that there ought to be much less aviation, however what I’d say is, the extra we have now aviation, the extra sustainable this aviation needs to be,” he added.

Regardless of the challenges, Filip Cornelis, aviation director with the European Fee, was constructive that there’s a larger alignment between the targets of residents, the political degree, and the aviation business than previously.

“Ten years in the past within the aviation sector many had been saying ‘we can’t cut back our emissions, others should do it, it’s simply not doable for technical causes’. This has now utterly modified,” he stated.

“The entire business has come collectively to embrace the necessity for change,” he added.

Oliver Jankovic, the director basic of ACI Europe, a commerce affiliation representing airports, portrayed decarbonisation as a matter of commercial survival.

“There gained’t be any restoration, long-term, for the sector, if we don’t decarbonise on the similar time,” he stated.

“In case you ask any European airport, it is vitally clear that for us that is now not nearly our licence to develop sooner or later, however very merely our licence to maintain working,” he added.

Nonetheless, Jankovic branded the French authorities’s resolution to ban home flights the place a brief practice journey was doable “ridiculous”, arguing that these routes would be the first to decarbonise.

He praised EU policymakers for setting a three-year time restrict on the French ban, by which era SAFs shall be out there in larger portions.

Thomas Reynaert, managing director of Airways for Europe (A4E), equally accused politicians of constructing a “political gesture” with the flight ban, which is “really not going to do something about lowering CO2 emissions”.

These measures will cut back airways income, making it tougher to spend money on decarbonisation, he argued.

“Airways have been accused of some greenwashing… However I’d argue that a few of the governments are most likely additionally greenwashing, by proposing and implementing knee jerk insurance policies that truly do little or no to enhance sustainability or have little or no affect on emissions,” stated Reynaert. 

Nonetheless Rayenaert stated that when it got here to the inexperienced transition for airways “regulation or no regulation, there isn’t any method again”.

“We have to serve the shopper, and prospects wish to fly inexperienced.”

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]

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