ECAC's Focal Point for Economic matters is Dan Micklethwaite, Director General for Civil Aviation in the United Kingdom.
Responsibility for economic matters in the ECAC Secretariat lies with the Air Transport Officer, Mara Keller.
ECAC activities in the economic field aim at promoting an economically efficient, sustainable and competitive European air transport sector, and have four main features.
1) The first one is to support the understanding on economic issues of common interest to the aviation community within ECAC, through discussions held in the Economic Working Group and in the Network of Chief Economists, both established in 2016.
The Economic Working Group, chaired by Mark Bosly (United Kingdom) on behalf of the Focal Point for Economic matters, has been established to exchange views on current and future challenges for the aviation community (e.g. competition, market access, taxation, ownership and control) and to provide an effective forum for discussion on economic matters of common interest to all ECAC Member States. <Terms of Reference - May 2016>
Established in 2016 and Chaired by Ana Mata (Portugal), the Network of Chief Economists was set up with the objective of bridging the gap of incomplete knowledge of essential data such as true O&D (origin & destination), freight traffic and logistics, jobs in the air transport sector and supply chain, and has the mandate in particular to list existing economic studies, statistics and other relevant materials on issues such as connectivity, taxation, airport charges, traffic data, route potential analysis, economic impact of regulations, air navigation services charges, etc. and to exchange views on permanent or current challenges for the aviation community with regard to methods (e.g. data collection, surveys, studies, strategic intelligence). <Terms of Reference - August 2016>
2) The second is the preparation for ICAO events in the economic field to enable ECAC Member States to present coordinated and effective contributions and influence global outcomes. This coordination is undertaken in cooperation with the European Commission, in a European Coordination Group for Economic Matters. This group actively prepares for the meetings of the ICAO Air Transport Regulation Panel (ATRP) and its working group as well as the Economic Commission of the ICAO Assembly and the ICAO Assembly itself.
3) The third is the organisation of an annual ECAC Forum. The Forum was established in 2008 to give the Directors General of Civil Aviation of ECAC's Member States the opportunity for an open discussion of strategic issues with potentially far-reaching national and international significance. Given the number of calls on the time of Directors General, the one-day Forums are organised back-to-back with their December meeting in the ECAC premises in Paris.
4) The fourth is the organisation of ECAC/EU Dialogues with the air transport industry on topics of common interest. The ECAC/EU Dialogue is held every three years.
During the Forum Directors General are joined by senior representatives from the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), ICAO and EUROCONTROL, and the debates are very much facilitated and enhanced by input from selected guest speakers mainly from the industry as well as academics.
The Forum has focused on economic issues such as the impact of intermodality on aviation, air cargo, the economics of airports and the European air transport, connectivity and economic development or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The last edition, in December 2018, focused on how to make aviation growth sustainable.
ECAC/EU Dialogues with the air transport industry
ECAC and the European Commission work in close cooperation on all aspects of European air transport. In 1995, they agreed that it would be worthwhile to periodically bring together leaders of the air transport industry – representing scheduled, non-scheduled and regional airlines as well as airport management – with the Directors General of ECAC's Member States. The objective was to provide a forum that would facilitate open and thought-provoking discussions between the regulators and senior aviation industry representatives on a wide range of air transport issues, and to assess future implications and challenges.
Since 1995, ten ECAC/EU Dialogues have taken place across Europe. Typically organised every two or three years, they have covered a wide range of topics, including airport capacity, economic issues, aviation and the environment, air passenger rights, improving the passenger experience and whether this should be achieved through competition or regulation, and European air transport competitiveness in a global environment.
The Dialogues attract approximately 150 delegates who are principally Directors General of Civil Aviation and their senior colleagues, and senior representatives of European airlines, airport operators, air navigation service providers, manufacturers, academics and European industry organisations. They continue to offer a welcome forum for the air transport industry and thanks to the seniority of the speakers contributing to each event, provide a stimulating and informative debate.
The last edition took place in Rome in June 2017 on the theme "Opportunities and challenges in financing aviation". Hosted by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, the event was opened with a keynote speech from ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu and an address by Italian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Graziano Delrio. Through high-level panel discussions, interviews and presentations, regulators, policymakers and industry representatives debated ways to make the sector more attractive for investors, innovative solutions to maximise the ‘return on investment' and secure long-term financing programmes.
The next edition will be organised in 2020.
READ ECAC NEWS #63 - "Financing aviation, the Dialogue continues".
READ ECAC NEWS #64 - "Privatisation in aviation, challenges and opportunities".