Captain Tilmann Gabriel offers views on sustainability
Captain Tilmann Gabriel, director of City, University of London’s MSc aviation management programmes and executive chairman of the International Pilot Training Association, gives his views on the three key trends he sees shaping today’s business aviation market.
Business aviation is still growing strong, last year by 12%, forecasting some 22,000 business aircraft globally by 2023. Europe may cool down further due to the Brexit threat and with much of the business aircraft operators and brokers based in the UK. Another worldwide threat is the lack of pilots. With a demand of 110 new pilots per day for the next 20 years to fly the expected airliner aircraft production, which is mostly already sold, the business aircraft operators will need to find models to recruit and retain a share of these pilots.
The change in the educational regulations of pilots (and aircraft engineers) towards competency-based training and assessment will be a challenge for business aircraft operators and its training providers, due to the complexity and the individuality of training for each pilot.
If, at the time of publication, the UK has left the EU without a deal, we have a complete separation of the CAA and the UK territory from the EU27. EU27 registered aircraft can no longer fly without approvals within the UK (Cabotage) and all flights in and out of the UK have to be approved by the CAA. They are giving three to nine months block approvals if certain conditions are met.
They will also establish a CAA Third Country Operator permit (TCO), similar to EASA , and all operators flying into the UK will have to hold such CAA TCO permit. A lot of uncertainty exists around the EASA pilot and other licenses. If the CAA remains a ‘third country working group member’ of EASA there might be very few changes, but with a hard Brexit, the European Council has signalled that EASA is no longer responsible for the UK and all its regulations and standard licensing.
This will have consequences for the commercial business aviation community in the EU. Private business aircraft flights (owner on-board) are not affected, but for the commercial business aircraft operators many new requirements will come into effect this month.
Recently, there is an increasing discussion on the CO2 emissions of all aircraft, but also business jets. The discussion around the Duke and Duchess of Essex using a private jet is one example. The Swedish activist Greta Thunberg started a movement, especially among young people flying to city and beach vacations several times a year. Global warming might be denied by a few, the causal effects of CO2 emissions questioned.
However, the increasing importance of sustainability-focused political parties (the green parties) and their success in elections becoming second largest parties and often entering the government in coalitions, will likely lead to a change of policies. This could impact airports, opening hours, sustainability regulations, CO2 emission limits and trading, which could affect the growth of the airline industry in Europe and the relative ease of operation for business jets.
With a demand of 110 new pilots per day for the next 20 years to fly the expected airliner aircraft production, which is mostly already sold, the business aircraft operators will need to find models to recruit and retain a share of these pilots”