Gist of the opinion
The opinion concerns the fixed-wing sector of the EU civil aeronautics industry serving the passenger and freight transport market. The Committee has several recommendations to propose:
• Set up a new technological development framework to encourage businesses in different EU countries to work together more effectively in order to set and meet their industrial priorities.
• Step up coordination between the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA) in order to promote the development of new dual-use technologies to be implemented in both the military and civilian segments of the aeronautics industry and to monitor their dissemination.
• Support industrialists in implementing CLEAN SKY JTI.
• Promote the active participation of EU countries with a recognised tradition in aeronautics to set up a network of European aeronautics subcontractors able to supply high added-value products and services and help them work together in order to reach critical mass.
• Support businesses that have developed innovative industrial strategies like "Open Innovation" in the regional European aeronautics sector.
• Encourage reduced dependence of subcontractors on current principals.
• Consider a financing procedure that would ensure the continuity of the manufacturing process, despite the dispute between the EU and the USA at the WTO.
• Anticipate developments and changes in employment by introducing job and skills forecast management.
• Rapidly implement a set of measures on:
• making air transport more environment-friendly;
• passenger satisfaction and safety;
• the reduction of CO2 emissions by the air transport sector (in line with EU policies on the overall reduction of CO2 emissions in Europe), noise pollution and fuel consumption;
• the development of concepts that make it easier to dismantle old equipment (use of recyclable materials etc.).
Finally, the Committee believes that the sector's challenges consist in remaining competitive, being useful to the public and broadening its international reach. The Committee therefore believes that the Commission and the Member States should promote practical measures in order to better forecast change and minimise its social impact.