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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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GAMA encourages accelerated development of European electric aviation
Beyond decarbonisation, the appeal of electric propulsion lies in the streamlined design, fewer moving parts and less maintenance. The technology is in development but it needs to be accelerated. GAMA suggests how.
Read this story in our May 2024 printed issue.

GAMA has published a white paper entitled 'Recommendations for Accelerating the Development of the Electric Aviation Sector in Europe', that proposes important recommendations for European regulators and policymakers to support the emerging sector of electric aviation.

The paper builds upon GAMA's efforts advocating for key policy and legislative measures needed to accelerate the development of electric aviation in Europe. It highlights the need for creating and strengthening appropriate funding frameworks, building a robust and resilient supply chain and fostering the appropriate regulatory and policy environment to support the emergence and success of the electric aviation industry. Providing EASA with the critical resources and budgetary support it needs to support the certification process is also one of the key recommendations of the sector.

"General aviation is at the forefront of developing and introducing innovative technologies that will transform the entire aviation industry. We look forward to furthering our ongoing work with the European Commission and EASA so that they have a fuller understanding of the vital role that they will play in advancing this sector, which is the incubator for safety, sustainability and innovation," says vice president, European affairs Kyle Martin.

To create the appropriate funding framework, the paper suggests, inter alia:

- The European Investment Bank should revise its transport lending policy to include support for low carbon aviation technologies, including hybrid-electric aircraft as well as dedicated facilities for eVTOLs.

- Member States, in collaboration with the Commission, should explore synergies between existing programs and special state aid regimes with the stated aim of accelerating the green transition to enable these funds to channel investments to the electrification and hybridisation of aviation.

- EU State Aid rules, in particular the criterion 'Undertaking in Difficulty', should be revised to also allow deep tech companies to access Member State funds.

- Allow the Innovation Fund to support the development and rollout of urban and regional electric aviation and eVTOLs, recognising that these technologies will supplement CO2 reductions from the rollout of SAF.

In order to build a robust and resilient European supply chain to ensure a swift uptake of new technologies it suggests:

- Explore synergies between the aeronautics sector and existing frameworks to support the development of batteries and fuel cells, including improving recycling technologies.

- Invest in recycling infrastructure and R&D in advanced materials to minimise external dependencies.

- Build international partnerships with like-minded third countries on raw materials for aeronautics.

With regards to policy and the regulatory environment, it recommends:

- Ensure that National Policy Frameworks developed under AFIR are ambitious and well-funded when it comes to the rollout of charging and hydrogen infrastructure at airports.

- Recognising the important work being carried out under the AZEA framework, provide additional dedicated funding to support companies (often SMEs and startups) to develop AZEA roadmaps and strategies.

- Ensure that EASA is properly funded to efficiently and effectively carry-out rule making tasks set out in the EPAS and that EASA has the ability to retain expert staff vital to the success of rule-making tasks.

- Allocate new EU funding to support EASA’s Innovation Partnership contracts to support SMEs, startups and accelerate the deployment of disruptive technologies such as electric aviation.

- Promote harmonisation of certification standards for electric aviation with bilateral aviation partners such as the US, UK, China, Canada and Brazil, to support the export of products.

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