Key players from the European aviation industry met in Oslo to set the framework for a unique programme that will transform Norwegian air transportation and serve as a learning ground for sustainable aviation on a regional scale.
Representatives from Airbus, Avinor, Leonardo, Safran, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Widerøe attended a meeting led by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to initiate the work of the Task Force on Zero Emissions Aviation.
Minister of Transport of Norway Knut Arild Hareide, joined for the opening session.
“It is in the transport sector that we will contribute the most to emissions reductions. The world is confronted with a climate crisis, and since I took office a few weeks ago, I have been very clear that this is my main mission as Transport Minister. We will have to deliver. We hope that the constant focus on zero emissions technologies will contribute to emissions reductions,” said the Minister of Transport.
Early implementation in Norway
Building on experience in other transport sectors and addressing the expectations of its citizens, Norway is taking steps toward the early implementation of emissions-free air transport in its regional market. The geography of Norway means that its many fjords and mountains hinder ground transport – making air transport an essential component of its overall infrastructure.
For EASA as European regulator, the programme is aligned with its twin mandate to reduce the environmental impact of aviation while ensuring air travel is safe.
“EASA plays a leading role in actively developing and implementing measures to address environmental challenges. This collaborative effort with CAA Norway and leading representatives from industry provides a strong basis for concrete and effective action to enable innovation and reduce aviation emissions,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA.
For Norway, the establishment of the Task Force brings a valuable international dimension to their regional ambition. The engagement of new and established aviation players to consider the environmental, economic, technological, and institutional challenges ensures a comprehensive approach.
“There is significant commitment to this initiative. We believe collaboration is key to succeed in finding new solutions and reducing emissions. Norway is well-positioned to become an arena for innovation in the field because of our well-developed network of regional airports, our access to clean and renewable energy, and of course a dedicated aviation industry and proactive authorities”, said Lars Kobberstad, Director General of CAA Norway.
Actionable recommendations – summer 2020
In its kick-off meeting, the Task Force agreed to draw up a report and roadmap of actionable recommendations to support the Norwegian ambition, which will be presented to the Norwegian government in summer 2020. This will include short-term actions that could be implemented by 2025 or so as well as longer-term actions stretching to 2030 or beyond.
In parallel, the Task Force will work towards solutions that can contribute to the wider European efforts for sustainable aviation. Particular consideration will be given to potential measures and incentives to promote the transition towards emissions-free aircraft.
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