2022 – a year to push past the uncertainty within aviation
It is fair to state that 2021 was not quite the year the aviation industry had anticipated, or even hoped for, in many cases. For International Airport Review, Sergi Alegre, Director General of Airport Regions Council explains how post-pandemic uncertainty is motivating ARC to innovate and strive to achieve even greater things from their projects and forums, as we begin a fresh calendar year.
Last year, we wrote that 2021 was going to be an important year for the aviation sector and therefore, for the cities and regions with an airport in their territories. As we reflect 12 months later, and look ahead to the future, it is clear that, like never before, we need to get used to living with uncertainties.
But this situation, at least for ARC, does not mean we should downsize our goals and objectives on either quantitative or quality levels. In fact, the great success of our ANIMA H2020 project, held in December 2021, encourages us to face the development of our tasks linked with OLGA (hOlistic Green Airports) with a lot of enthusiasm. OLGA is a Green Call project led by ADP (Aéroports de Paris) with a clear goal: to green airport activities with a holistic perspective mainly to share goals and projects, programmes, and actions with the local and regional authorities. OLGA will implement, and monitor, a great variety of actions with the intention of becoming a lighthouse for EU airports in our shared horizon: a zero-pollution aviation sector.
Importantly, ARC work regarding EU projects will not only be limited to OLGA.
OLGA will implement, and monitor, a great variety of actions with the intention of becoming a lighthouse for EU airports in our shared horizon: a zero-pollution aviation sector”
We, together with our members, are expecting positive outcomes from the new Interreg programme, as it is the one most focused on the needs and challenges of territorial administrations. Ideas are already on the table regarding greening and introducing new modes of mobility around airports, adapting to the changes that COVID-19 has brought to the airport labour world and others. Finally, we are working to prepare three different projects with major stakeholders, and we are waiting for the result of the evaluation process on one project.
ARC’s ready participation in such projects allows us to gain the knowledge that enables us, on the one hand, to have clear and concrete positions and proposals in discussions with EU institutions and key stakeholders and, on the other hand, to support our members in their relationship with the airport in their territory.
It is the same aim, to improve the quality of life of citizens living nearby an airport, that drives Airport Regions Council to develop its advocacy and communication tasks. For 2022, we are committed to participating in the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Forum – a joint initiative of the Commission and the Committee of the Regions – where we want to contribute our expertise and proposals in the field of transport noise.
At the same time, a few paths of collaboration have been created with Eurocontrol, linked to the Memorandum of Understanding signed at the end of 2021. This MoU focuses on the co-ordination and co-responsibility of airports and cities to improve fruitful collaboration, to reduce the environmental impacts of aviation in a broad perspective.
Last, but not least, ARC wants to actively participate in the development of the EU Urban Air Mobility architecture”
Last, but not least, ARC wants to actively participate in the development of the EU Urban Air Mobility architecture that has taken a big step with the launch of the ‘Notice of Proposed Amendment 2021-14 – Development of acceptable means of compliance and guidance material to support the UE space regulation’ by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. For ARC, Urban Air Mobility must be regulated from bottom to top, and its development and management should be carried out shoulder to shoulder by all actors, equally by air regulators and territorial administrations (local and metropolitan governments). No other way will bring better results for the future of Europe.
Finally, as ever, ARC is committed to spreading its membership, to increasing its communication tools and actions and to disseminating its knowledge and vision.
No other way will bring better results for the future of Europe”
ARC believes, just as it did when it was created 28 years ago, that only the common work of all stakeholders based on knowledge and true respect can assure the development of fair aviation for the environment and social points of view for all.
Sergi Alegre has a PhD in Contemporary History and is the Director General of Airport Regions Council. He is involved in the relationships between airports and local/regional administrations and was Vice Mayor of El Prat, the city that hosts the airport of Barcelona, for 27 years. He has participated as speaker in the main events linked to these items in Europe, America and China. He has been coordinator of some studies and participated in different EU projects.