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March 2012
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Plane Talking

6th Aviation and Environment Summit Session 2: Developing Sustainable Capacity

The second panel of the day explored the role infrastructure plays in developing sustainable capacity.  What are the barriers to implementing improvements across daily operations?  How can we move forward on air traffic management systems?  According to the panel, the key to success within infrastructure improvements to ensure added capacity – in the sky and on the ground – lies with broad stakeholder involvement.

Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking noted that the industry is reaching the limits of what can be done by individual actors to ensure progress. One of the key challenges for the SESAR JU is trying to get all actors to test new tools and technology and subsequently assess how that can contribute to sustainable growth.

Staying in Europe, NATS UK CEO Richard Deakin urged that the European Commission steps up its effort to become the standard setter it has the potential to be in the context of closing the efficiency gap which particularly exists in Europe due to a plethora of regulatory barriers.

A question from the audience spurred an interesting discussion around communicating industry efforts regarding infrastructure to the wider public. Neil Planzer of Boeing noted that whilst the public is interested in improvements and the resulting benefits, the industry needs to keep focusing on expected outcomes to also convince regulators that they in particular have a key role to play in ensuring that pilot projects and one-off occurrences become an everyday reality.