Brussels, 19 October– Airlines for Europe (A4E) welcomes today’s vote by the European Parliament on the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). The Regulation is another step forward in the decarbonisation of transport in Europe.
Europe’s aviation industry has already set out a roadmap to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 through its Destination 2050 initiative. While the initial carbon reduction for aviation will be modest, AFIR is another important milestone in the path to achieving that ambitious goal and underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to sustainability in transport.
A4E is broadly supportive of the Regulation as it heads to Trilogue negotiations between the EU institutions. A4E believes however that there are a number of areas that the co-legislators should consider during the negotiations.
These include the questions that remain around the levels of investment required to meet the obligations of AFIR and how they will be funded. A4E recommends that funding is made available to airports for the required investments through EU instruments such as the Connecting Europe Facility (TEN-T Regulation), loans facilitated by the European Investment Bank, or national funding where relevant. It is important that these questions are clarified.
A4E is also hopeful that the institutions will ensure that the smallest EU airports, hosting less than 10,000 scheduled commercial movements per year, are exempted from the obligation to provide electricity to stationary aircraft. The investments required to install this infrastructure and its operation are disproportionate to the potential emissions savings. Such an exemption will still ensure that the vast majority of European airports remain covered by the regulation.
A4E welcomes the proposed Regulation’s requirement for national policy frameworks to include a deployment plan for alternative fuel infrastructures, such as hydrogen facilities or electric re-charging of aircraft, subject to market developments. Such plans are important for encouraging the uptake of new technologies and sustainable fuels as part of long-term decarbonisation strategies.
Commenting on the vote, Thomas Biering, Policy Director at A4E said:
“The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) is another important step in the decarbonisation of European transport. The measures it contains compliment the ambitious roadmap Europe’s aviation sector has set out to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”
“While we believe that there remain some points that need to be looked such as funding the installation of infrastructure, the obligations for smaller airports and the role of airport managing bodies, we believe that the respective positions of the European Parliament and the member states offer a foundation for agreement on the provisions for air transport.”
Kevin Hiney, Communications Director
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