Curbing air transport not an option, says ERA

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) reports that it “broadly welcomes” the European Commission’s transport White Paper and remains strongly supportive of Commissioner Kallas’s views, expressed at the December Bruges Summit, that the implementation of future policies must not incur further taxes or cost burdens on air transport, thereby reducing the industry’s ability to maintain Europe’s competitiveness on the global stage.

ERA says it welcomes the statements made in the White Paper confirming the fundamental importance of transport to Europe’s economy, job creation and the mobility of its citizens. As the representative body for air operators providing services to, from and between the regions of Europe, ERA particularly welcomes the statements reaffirming that the future prosperity of Europe “depends on the ability of all Europe’s regions to remain fully and competitively integrated in the world economy”.

To achieve these aims, ERA has declared support for the development of a competitive, multi-modal transport network based on providing free choice to consumers and fair, competitive conditions between transport modes. The traffic share of each mode should therefore be determined by the market and not Commission policy, ERA states.

But ERA believes a key missing element of the White Paper is an overall ambition to reduce, rather than increase, the regulatory burden that is a major strategic threat to transport growth.

“It is greatly encouraging that the White Paper states ‘curbing mobility is not an option’. We see the promotion of air transport as a logical consequence,” remarked Mike Ambrose, director general, ERA. “Europe’s air transport system is a driver for Europe’s international competitiveness and the sustainable, increased mobility of its citizens, especially those in Europe’s regions for whom international connectivity is vital.”

The European Commission White Paper, Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a Competitive and Resource Efficient Transport System, is available from the European Commission website.

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