More than 80% of visitors to the UK arrive by air, approximately 250 million passengers and more than two million tonnes of freight.
Many of Europe's hub airports are facing serious capacity issues and for some, expansion is the only solution. However, for others, expansion is not an option. The main challenge for the growth of EU aviation is to address the capacity, efficiency and connectivity constraints which hold us back. The European Commission recently brought forward an Aviation Strategy to address these challenges and Jacqueline continues to ensure this is followed up with concrete results by governments across Europe.
UPDATE: Summer 2018
Safeguarding competition in air transport ('868' Regulation Report)
The revision of this regulation is an attempt to provide a toolkit of protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of air services from non-EU countries.
Jacqueline believes in the principle of cracking down on unfair competition but she does not believe the current direction of this report is necessarily the right approach. Allowing the European Commission to impose sanctions on non-EU airlines before any alleged anti-competitive practices are documented, assessed and established, sends a pessimistic signal to our international trading partners. The overall effect of this could be negative on the connectivity of our regions and for consumers and passengers.
Ensuring our national and regional airports have a good mix of traffic is essential to their long term success and viability. The ability of airports to provide the optimum level of air connectivity, with multiple air carriers reaching as widely across the world as possible, is so important for the ongoing success and prosperity of our economy.
Read Jacqueline's comments from March 2018 regarding the revision of this regulation by click here.
You can read a European Parliament briefing on the 868 Report by clicking here.
Upcoming Transport Committee work
Jacqueline has been appointed at the ECR Shadow Rapporteur (spokesman) on the following legislative report currently being considered in the Committee: "Amended proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Air Transport Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part."
Key reports and legislation that Jacqueline has been working on in her 2014 to 2019 mandate: please read on!
FOSTER Report: Safe use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
Jacqueline secured an overwhelming majority for a crucial Parliamentary report on the expanding commercial use of RPAS (‘drones’) in civil aviation. The last 15 years has seen rapid growth in this sector, as technology developed primarily for military purposes is now being applied for commercial use, pushing technological boundaries.
The first ever report by the European Parliament to deal with this exciting and constantly evolving technology sought to ensure that any legislation brought forward by the European Commission takes a risk-based approach, without creating unnecessary red-tape for the industry.
The UK is already a world-leader in the innovation and development of drone technology, and the industry offers great scope for boosting jobs and growth. For example, the commercial market in the UK alone has more than 600 RPAS operations providing services from photography to land surveillance. RPAS have become an increasingly popular alternative to manned aircraft for aerial surveillance activities and increasingly, search and rescue and construction repair work, amongst other things.
However, we must ensure that safety is always paramount, and that we take a case-by-case rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation.
As part of the preparation for this report, Jacqueline discussed fully with many British and European manufacturers, regulators, aviation authorities and operators. In addition, she liaised closely, in her capacity as an aviation specialist, with officials from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Jacqueline believes that the RPAS sector requires global rules in order to ensure cross-border RPAS development. If no action is taken soon, there is a risk that the economic potential and positive effects of RPAS will not be fully utilised.
FOSTER Report: Single European Sky (SES)
Jacqueline’s breakthrough report addressed congestion caused by the fragmentation of airspace. The so-called 'Single European Sky' will enable aircraft to fly more direct routes, reduce journey times, fuel burn and the cost to the passenger, whilst maintaining national sovereignty of airspace. It will also bring air traffic management systems into the 21st century with new technologies which we will export across the world. The UK Government fully supports this on-going legislation.
Unfortunately, this project is currently delayed by the unacceptable behaviour of the Spanish Government and Spanish MEPs who wish to exclude Gibraltar from the scope of Single European Sky. Jacqueline is leading the fight in the European Parliament against this attempt to play politics with Gibraltar’s sovereignty. She also believes developing our Regional Airports is a really effective way of helping to rebalance Britain's economy and to ensure that all regions share in economic growth. Good air links are one of the main issues for overseas investors when they are choosing where to locate.
In addition, Jacqueline is currently working on legislation dealing with the following:
- Aviation Security: addresses security requirements across the EU;
- External Aviation Policy: deals with Air Service Agreements that benefit the UK's airline industry;
- Passenger Rights: looks at greater transparency for travellers on ticket pricing and credit card charges.
As an aviation specialist and a huge supporter of this industry, and acknowledging the benefits of a competitive market, Jacqueline will continue to challenge unnecessary regulations.
Foster secures support for a 'Global Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme' (September 2017)
Following the overwhelming support gained from the European Parliament's Transport Committee for Jacqueline's proposals to 'Stop the Clock' on the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation in June 2017, the debate moved to the floor of the Strasbourg plenary in September 2017. Jacqueline's report seeks to find a way forward to introduce a groundbreaking single Global Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (CORSIA) Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.
Currently, the EU operates an aviation ETS for internal flights, but abandoned attempts to include flights to and from the EU following unprecedented international opposition some years ago which resulted in a negative impact on our key export markets around the world for our aerospace manufacturers.
Commenting in Strasbourg, Jacqueline said:
"We need a single Global Emissions scheme, and it is imperative that the EU allows time for the groundbreaking International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) negotiations discussions to be concluded. Constructive talks are already underway, and it is vital that countries such as the US, China, India and others are included, as they are major players in this field.
To avoid duplication and excessive bureaucracy, the global scheme must include all international, intra-EEA and domestic flights.
To date, more than seventy countries have voluntarily signed up to the Scheme, which between them emit nearly 90% of aviation CO2 emissions worldwide.
We believe that all future revenues should be ringfenced by Member States, and must be re-invested in R&D projects, such as SES, Clean Sky and SESAR.
This will be the best opportunity that we have for the European Union to be part of a global solution, supported by Member States, the Commission, including Commissioner Bulc, and industry, and bringing all key world players onside."