Future challenges and industrial change facing the EU Aerospace Sector (own-initiative opinion)

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EGSZB-vélemény: Future challenges and industrial change facing the EU Aerospace Sector (own-initiative opinion)

Conclusions and recommendations

The need to develop an EU industrial policy for the aeronautical sector to allow the EU aeronautical industry to compete on a level playing-field in the context of strong competition from established players (the USA in particular) as well as growing competition from emerging players (China in particular). In this context, the need to establish an aeronautics watchtower at EU level and to make aeronautics a key element of EU economic diplomacy and trade policy.

The challenges in relation to skills, including ensuring that a highly specialised ageing workforce has the opportunity to share their expertise and skills with younger employees, the need to attract more young employees to the sector with increasingly sought-after skills in both engineering and ICT, and the urgent need for existing workers to be upskilled in the field of digitalisation.

The need for civil aviation research to remain a top priority in Horizon Europe with an increased budget compared to Horizon 2020. In this context, to ensure the continuation of the successful technology initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of emissions through the launch of Clean Sky 3 and SESAR 3.

The urgent need to deploy SESAR solutions and establish the Single European Sky (SES) after decades of discussions. The need to invest in efficient capacity in the air and on the ground in order to facilitate aviation growth while reducing its environmental impact and increasing safety levels.

The need to strengthen the international role of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the need for more performance-based EASA rules to enable more efficient deployment of new technology in a safe manner and a level playing field for EU exporters.

The need to find solutions for an efficient post-Brexit agreement covering: customs arrangements, regulatory frameworks, cooperation in research and deployment and labour mobility. Technical discussions covering regulations need to begin as a matter of priority, to ensure that mitigation measures are in place.

The need to progress on EU Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening, with the aim of protecting critical technologies for EU aeronautical manufacturing and MRO industries.

The need to ensure continued social dialogue between employers, employees and civil society. Furthermore, the need to launch a sector-specific social dialogue for the aeronautical industry under Council Decision 98/500/EC.