At ILA Berlin Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, officially launched the Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation, a new EU initiative and part of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 programme. Taking part in the event on the Aviation Future Lab Stage were BDLI President and CEO of Airbus Defence and Space Michael Schöllhorn together with his French counterpart Guillaume Faury from Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), who is also CEO of Airbus SE.
Commissioner Breton, who attended by video link from Brussels, presented the airline and airport alliance as the EU clearly positioning itself to take over long-term leadership on the way to climate-neutral aviation. “In addition to being a commitment to protect the environment it is also a unique opportunity for Europe’s aviation industry“, Breton added. The alliance’s aim was to identify and prioritise the challenges of introducing climate-neutral aircraft and assist with implementing practical solutions. Breton: “Thus the alliance represents a key to the sector’s economic future.“ Additional large investments were still needed, but they were already beginning to pay off with tangible results and technology. “Only under a joint alliance can private and public sector actors make aviation fully climate-neutral. It means big challenges ahead. However, they can be overcome together.”
Guillaume Faury stressed the need for visions to finally become reality. “I am convinced that aviation can still bestow great benefits and wealth upon society, but for that to continue it urgently needs to become climate-neutral. A lot has to be achieved before the first hydrogen-powered aircraft, due in 2035, can be launched, and the alliance offers an excellent path to that end.“ Referring to the exhibitors in Hall 4 at ILA, Michael Schöllhorn added that many larger and smaller companies and BDLI members were together striving to achieve the goal of climate neutrality, and said: “Sustainability and safety go hand in hand.“ He quoted the example of an A400M transporter of the Luftwaffe partially operating on synthetic fuels as a further small step in that common direction.