Strategic objectives

For the European civil aviation sector, ASD advocates for the following strategic objectives:

Further improve global aviation safety

Today, civil aviation is already the safest transport mode. Nevertheless, in particular in light of continued traffic growth, there is no reason for complacency and there is a need to work further towards the aspirational goal of zero accidents. The European industry is committed to continue working with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), as well as national regulators to further increase global aviation safety, and develop together efficient and robust procedures.

Move towards a greener and carbon neutral aviation sector

The Europe’s aviation sector – through the Destination 2050 initiative ( – has collectively committed to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and to significantly contribute to the 2030 climate goals as well. ASD together with the associations representing Europe’s airlines (A4E and ERA), airports (ACI-Europe) and air navigation service providers (CANSO-Europe) have laid out a joint long-term vision along with concrete solutions to the complex challenge of reaching net zero CO2 emissions from all flights departing the EU, UK and EFTA.  In order to achieve this challenging goal, it is essential to work on all four pillars: improved aircraft & engine technology, Sustainable Aviation Fuels, improved operations & air traffic management (ATM) as well as smart economic measures.

This European roadmap complements the ongoing efforts carried out at a global level by ICCAIA and the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), who have also committed to a 2050 net zero target based on the Waypoint 2050 initiative.

The industry actions will need to be complemented by further actions at European and global ICAO level supported with an enabling financial framework.

At the same time, the industry is fully engaged in addressing non-CO2 emissions effects from aviation that also contribute to global warming. ASD fully recognises that it is paramount to address the full impact of aviation in a robust manner. To tackle these emissions, the aviation industry – in collaboration with research institutions, universities, and other key stakeholders – is intensively working and supporting scientists on increasing and maturing the understanding of non-CO2 emissions generation and the related climate effects, to be able to find the most appropriate solutions. 

Improve the industry’s competitiveness

All EU actors need to work together towards a common goal to support the competitiveness of EU industry within the global civil aviation market based on an industrial strategy. Such strategy should support all segments of the European industry (Original Equipment Manufacturers, as well as EU Supply Chain) by providing them with tools that allow EU industry to compete on a level playing field with both established and emerging competitors, all of which receive strong support from their respective governments.

Foster European innovation leadership

The European industry is playing a leading role in the development of future green technologies for civil aviation, including smaller electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, hydrogen-powered aircraft as well as ultra-efficient next generation aircraft capable of running on 100% sustainable aviation fuels. In addition, the European industry is also an emerging player in new aviation concepts, including urban air mobility concepts and unmanned aircraft that need to be supported by an appropriate regulatory and financial framework, infrastructure as well robust strategies for cyber protection. Some of those new concepts could also be important testbeds for a greener and more automated aviation sector, in addition to their own market potential. Collaboration at a European level through Joint Technology Initiatives, such as SESAR and Clean Aviation, is essential in this context. Therefore, meeting the EU climate targets also depends on funding for civil aviation research (both SESAR and Clean Aviation ) in European research programmes. The early involvement of EASA in future research programmes is important to anticipate coherent regulatory evolutions in technological developments. EASA should be properly resourced and funded to take on this new task.

Implement the Digital European Sky

There is a need to address the capacity crunch in European Air Traffic Management (ATM), which led to congested European skies and increasing air traffic delays. The EU industry has developed various SESAR solutions to ease congestion. The deployment of these solutions should be accelerated in order to improve the performance of the European ATM System. Financial incentives will be required to reward early adopters of new technology. The SESAR Airspace Architecture Study should be implemented.

Support a global ICAO framework through ICCAIA

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) plays a key role to adopt the necessary global standards and recommended practices that enable the deployment of new technology on the global civil aviation market.

ASD is therefore playing a leading role in the International Coordination Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) which is the global manufacturing industry voice towards ICAO.

  • ICCAIA’s strategic objectives are to foster growth of the world’s aerospace manufacturing industry by:
  • Supporting the development of effective standards for safe, secure, and efficient air transport
  • Growing international civil aviation capacity
  • Harmonising civil aviation policies and regulations to the maximum degree possible
  • Providing technical expertise.