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:: 04 the future of Mobility
European Aeronautics: EU Vision 2020
04 the future of Mobility 4/8/2003 12:07:24 PM

Foreword by Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner for Research
It is my pleasure to present what I believe is a landmark report in the history of Europe's aeronautics. I hope it will be read not only by the industry's stakeholders and by policy-makers in European and national institutions, but also by a broader public in whose lives air transport now plays such an important part.

In forming the Group of Personalities, I gave them a deceptively simple task: to produce, in the context of implementing the European Research Area, a vision for aeronautics in the year 2020. This is not a distant dead-line but a sensible reflection of the lead times in the research, development and manufacturing of many of the industry's products and services. It seemed to me that only such a unique grouping could identify a formula for transforming the sector from a follower into a global leader over this period.

The industry must rise to this challenge and confront the competitive pressures imposed on it both by the rapid development of globalisation and environmental needs. Since this process is also fuelling such a strong growth in passenger demand that air traffic will triple over the next 20 years, the Group's vision has had to encompass the air trans-port system and not just the manufacture of aircraft and equipment.

That is why its members are drawn from the airport and airline sectors, regulators and air traffic managers as well as from airframe, engine and equipment manufacturers. The results of their work have more than satis-fied my request for a thoughtful analysis of how a reorganisation of our research and development efforts could both better serve society's needs and also strengthen a quest for global leadership. The way we do things at the moment, at both national and European levels, has failed to keep pace with changes in the industry's own structures.

An inclusive vision is precisely what Europe needs in order to arrive at a safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly air transport system that will strengthen the competitiveness of its increasingly integrated economy. It will help to deliver European excellence with a global dimension because that is what the market now requires.

The vision set down in the following pages is imaginative and ambitious without ever straying into science fantasy. Crucially, it calls for a more strategic approach to the identi-fication of research priorities and new mech-anisms for forging a consensus among stakeholders in pursuit of these priorities. It also proposes the launch of new forms of cross-border collaboration in the application of research, with additional financial support from the European Union.

European Aeronautics: A Vision for 2020 provides rich material for a great debate on precisely how the European dimension can generate more efficient and effective research for a sector that is crucial for the continent's economic future. The Commission will lead that debate and in a short time draw the appropriate conclusions. Then it will be time for the Union and its Member States to join aeronautics stake-holders in a new partnership dedicated to capturing the vision described in this report.

Finally, I would like to thank all members of the Group for the time and attention they have devoted to this exercise and their com-mitment to see its conclusions implemented.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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