The European Economic and Social Committee, together with the Committee of Regions and the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, held a high-level conference on Improving the Regional Air Connectivity for Europe – a Precondition for Sustainable Economic Growth. The event took place on 23 March 2017, starting at 2 p.m. at the European Economic and Social Committee, Rue Belliard 99, Brussels, in room JDE62.
The conference brought together leading representatives of key institutions and organisations that, as part of their daily mission, can help the EU aviation sector increase competitiveness and create economic growth. Achieving these objectives requires trustful stakeholder dialogue and clear and positive leadership at European, national and regional level.
The panellists focused on regional connectivity in the context of the implementation of the Aviation Strategy for Europe and attempted to identify the challenges and opportunities in achieving better and more sustainable connectivity between regions across the continent.
The aviation sector plays a key role in promoting economic growth, and regional connectivity is an indispensable element for the mobility of people and businesses within the EU. While in major hub airports connectivity is usually mainly dependent on increasing capacity, further development of regional connectivity in the EU depends on a number of factors such as airport infrastructure, airline business models, regulatory and economic frameworks and geography. Conference participants addressed these factors in their attempts to provide concrete solutions for improving regional air connectivity in a sustainable manner.