France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal presented an Any Other Business (AOB) point emphasising the need to strengthen the sustainability and fairness of the aviation sector. The countries together acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst crisis in aviation history, and that the recovery of the industry depends on its sustainability.
The group highlighted the success of carbon neutrality by 2050 as a long-term climate objective at the 41st session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly, but argued that more needs to be done, including the rapid deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) to increase supply and lower prices. They also called for broader reflection on air transport uses and exploring options for sustainable and fair air transport.
“We must have the courage to recognise that air transport is essential in many cases, particularly to connect island and peripheral States, to accomplish health missions, to develop exchanges and to make people closer but that it is sometimes used irresponsibly when the journey could be made using a zero carbon alternative mode or replaced by a video conference.”
Measures on minimum ticket prices, a clear definition of the operating base of air carriers, and the possibility of restricting short flights could also be included. The group also suggested making stakeholders more accountable by increasing transparency on their carbon footprint and implementing specific regulations, particularly regarding business aviation.
Reduced short-haul flights – use of virtual collaboration tools – shift to more sustainable travel modes