AIR (CIVIL AVIATION)
Of all the transport sectors, air transport has seen the most impressive growth in the European Union in the last 20 years.
In terms of passenger-kilometers, air traffic grew an average of 7.4% annually from 1980 to 2001. At the same time, air traffic at the airports of the fifteen Member States has increased fivefold since 1970.
Despite the impact of the attacks of 11 September 2001 on the entire aviation sector, an improvement and an increase in air traffic are expected in the years to come.
Following the major crisis in the air transport sector in the early 1990s, efforts to restructure and deregulate the European market have allowed airlines to operate efficiently again.
However, there is a counterpart to this recovery: the increase in air transport is exacerbating the problems of airport saturation levels and overloading of air traffic control systems.
Airlines deplore the fragmentation of European airspace, which is a source of major inefficiencies and delays.
Each year, European airports are getting closer to the limits of their capabilities. Most major airports have already reached saturation point, limiting access to new companies that want to compete with long-established carriers.
The current challenges of aviation is about protecting the environment. Pollution per passenger per kilometer is bound to improve, the FICT is very sensitive about this.