The opportunities to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the global civil aviation sector were stressed a World Economic Forum (WEF) policy session on ‘Building a Path to Net-Zero Aviation’.
ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu’s remarks were part of a series of exchanges with other participants including UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Dick Benschop, CEO of the Royal Schiphol Group, and Grazia Vittadini, CTO of Airbus.
The goal of the sessions was to gather perspectives across the aviation value-chain on key challenges and priorities, review the commitment to cross-sector collaboration and calls to action to drive equitable sustainability goals throughout air travel and to enable aviation’s net-zero transition.
Dr Liu noted the recent call by UN Secretary-General Guterres to “build a sustainable system driven by renewable energy, green jobs, and a resilient future” have been met with motivation by both governments and the air transport industry, leading to discussions on a range of subjects including sustainable aviation fuels deployment.
“States, manufacturers, airlines, airports, all stakeholders have their parts to play and responsibility to accelerate the transition of aviation toward its decarbonized future,” Dr Liu said, while noting that “a global policy under ICAO is crucial because this is the only way to ensure the success of this global transition that needs to take place, while leaving no country behind and avoiding distortion of competition”.
Dr Liu also noted that the potential structural changes ahead could result in different aviation business models, platforms, and diversified products and services being needed to meet the expectations of post-pandemic leisure and business travellers in the “new normal”.
“The disruptions to the way of life of billions around the world will bring fundamental and widespread changes to who aviation serves, and how, once the pandemic is behind us,” Dr Liu emphasised.
“While there will be no substitutes for aviation, this will change the way we do business, and the aviation sector will need to rapidly adapt, to access green funding for investments in technology, operations and fuels, in order to meet the growing calls for a sustainable flying future.”
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