On 4 November 2020, the virtual ECAC/EU Dialogue with the European aviation industry entitled "Restart, reconnect, recover Rebuilding aviation in a changed world" took place. Originally, the event had been planned to take place in Friedrichshafen, but had to be converted into a digital format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 350 high-level representatives from regulatory bodies, air carriers, airports, air navigation service providers, manufacturers and industry organisations participated in this Dialogue.
In altogether four sessions, topics such as the economic impact of the pandemic were addressed; compensation measures for industry will be necessary over a longer period of time and have to be designed in a way as to guarantee a sustainable recovery of the sector.
Moreover, the public perception of the aviation sector was discussed; the customers’ confidence in aviation has to be restored and such measures have to be combined with robust and harmonised measures in the field of public health.
Despite the major economic problems caused by the pandemic, the current crisis could also be considered as a catalyst speeding up the implementation of innovations concerning airplanes, engines, fuels and operational processes and turning current challenges into opportunities. Sustainability is one of the greatest challenges but also one of the greatest opportunities.
One meeting focused intensively on the modernisation of air traffic management systems in Europe, in particular, on the Single European Sky (SES) regulatory package.
All these topics were also subject of intensive consultations at EU level within the context of the EU Council Presidency.