Press release: European aviation leaders unite for holistic sustainability in the ECAC/EU Dialogue

Photo (from left to right): Alessio Quaranta (ECAC President and Director General of Civil Aviation for Italy), Filip Cornelis (Director of Aviation, DG MOVE, European Commission), David Benito Astudillo (Director General of Civil Aviation for Spain), Angela Lynch (Policy Coordinator, ECAC Secretariat)

Valencia, 25 October 2023 – European aviation leaders have come together in Valencia for the 12th edition of the ECAC/EU Dialogue, reaffirming their commitment to sustainable aviation. This key event is organised every three years since 1995, and this edition brought together 140 participants, including high-level aviation policymakers, airline and airport leaders, air navigation service providers, environmental stakeholders, aircraft manufacturers, aviation academics, representatives of financial institutions, as well as international and regional organisations. Participants gathered to address sustainability across social, environmental and economic dimensions, to develop a shared vision for a balanced, resilient, and responsible future for European aviation.

In his opening remarks, David Benito Astudillo, Director General of Civil Aviation for Spain, whose country holds the EU Presidency for the second half of 2023, highlighted the importance of the meeting. The ECAC/EU Dialogue is a pivotal moment for the European aviation sector, providing a platform to discuss and find solutions, and an opportunity for aviation leaders to steer the industry towards a more sustainable and responsible future. Mr Astudillo stated that "it is important to have a resilient transport system, and we should be aware of the human factor, and how important the social dimension is. Highly qualified persons in the aviation industry are needed."

Alessio Quaranta, ECAC President and Director General of Civil Aviation for Italy, emphasised the role of connectivity as a catalyst for prosperity. He focused on aviation’s essential role in fostering social, cultural and economic opportunities by enabling the exchange of people, ideas and values within Europe and beyond. "Air transport is not merely about moving from one place to another; it is about delivering services. This is true whether air transport is connecting families and businesses; providing cultural, educational and leisure opportunities; or providing a lifeline to remote communities that otherwise could struggle to connect", Mr Quaranta said.

Filip Cornelis, Director of Aviation, DG MOVE, European Commission, added: "Aviation has long been a symbol for progress and human achievement. Aviation revolutionised the way we travel, we do business, and we interact with each other. However, this comes with several multifaceted and interrelated challenges, including social, environmental, and economic aspects. The Dialogue is therefore an opportunity to brainstorm new ideas, and the decisions we make today will shape the future of European aviation, determining its sustainability and impact on the environment. In concluding his intervention, Mr Cornelis said that "collaboration is the key to achieving our shared goals".

The main outcomes of the meeting were included in a statement that was adopted at the end of the Dialogue. The statement, available here, aims to serve as a basis to shape future work on sustainability.

For further information on the ECAC/EU Dialogue’s journey towards sustainable aviation, please visit: