ECAC/EU Dialogue with the European air transport industry
ECAC and the European Commission work in close cooperation on all aspects of European air transport. In 1995, they agreed that it would be worthwhile to periodically bring together leaders of the air transport industry – representing scheduled, non-scheduled and regional airlines as well as airport management – with the Directors General of ECAC's Member States.
The objective was to provide a forum that would facilitate open and thought-provoking discussions between the regulators and senior aviation industry representatives on a wide range of air transport issues, and to assess future implications and challenges.
Since 1995 eleven ECAC/EU Dialogues have taken place across Europe. Typically organised every two or three years, they have covered a wide range of topics, including airport capacity, economic issues, aviation and the environment, air passenger rights, improving the passenger experience and whether this should be achieved through competition or regulation, the competitiveness of the European air transport sector in a global environment and financing aviation.
The Dialogues attract approximately 150 delegates who are principally Directors General of Civil Aviation and their senior colleagues, and senior representatives of European airlines, airport operators, air navigation service providers, manufacturers, academics and European industry organisations. They continue to offer a welcome forum for the air transport industry and thanks to the seniority of the speakers contributing to each event, provide a stimulating and informative debate.
The most recent edition was held virtually on 4 November 2020 on the theme "Restart, Reconnect, Recover - Rebuilding Aviation in a Changed World". The Dialogue was opened by ECAC President Ingrid Cherfils and featured a welcome address by Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Steffen Bilger, and a keynote speech by Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport in the European Commission. Across four panel debate sessions, the panellists and moderators, representing a broad range of high-level aviation stakeholders, explored the economic and financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis on aviation, the public's perception of air travel, the consequences for environmental initiatives and the impact of the crisis on implementation of the Single European Sky.