Europe’s aviation sector welcomes plans for Digital Green Certificate

The standardised certificate is hoped to help facilitate air travel, however many still say that a wider restart plan is imminently needed

The European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Green Certificate has been welcomed by Europe’s aviation sector.

Within the proposal, it highlights that EU states must distribute mutually recognised certificates for COVID-19 vaccination, testing and recovery status. This is then hoped to restart free movement during the pandemic and help resume air travel.

Associations within the sector – including Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airports Council International (ACI), Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), CANSO, European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – believe these certificates will enable safe air travel and tourism within Europe.

Fraport AG
Photo Fraport AG

The sector are urgently calling upon the European parliament to pass the Commission proposal, for its immediate preparation and implementation to ensure they are operational within the peak summer travel months.

According to recent data issued by the European Travel Commission, 54% of the general public within Europe aim to use air travel before the end of July 2021. This highlights the demand for mobility once the sector is able to reopen.

From the same sample, 41% want to travel to another European country which further stresses the importance of a common EU framework. A further 89% also agree that standardised testing and vaccine certificates should be implemented by governments.

However, the Commission has also been warned that a more detailed plan to rejuvenate economic recovery and restore freedom of movement is needed.

It has been proposed that a more detailed roadmap must be developed as soon as possible, which should include the implementation of testing policies.

As a result, aviation associations are urging the European governments to push forward with a detailed roadmap that provides an idea of what recovery could look like. It has been outlined that they should consider the acceleration of the vaccine rollout, a coordinated testing regime, the evolution of epidemiology regarding the pandemic and the results of COVID-19 tested pilots.

Latest figures published by ACI Europe reveal that more than 7,500 air routes have been lost across Europe’s transport network. It also reiterates that passenger traffic remains at an all-time low due to travel restrictions and national lockdowns.

A decrease in air traffic is most prevalent within the EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK, in which an 89.3% decline has been recorded in February compared with the same time last year. Countries including Russia and Turkey have only recorded a 56% decrease.