Of all the political cartoons now on display, one of the best shows a British red bus at the bottom of a ravine. Having sailed off the top, and into a deep gorge it’s resting, all crumpled at the bottom. Out of a front window is a speech bubble with the words: “I think we need to change the driver”. That nicely sums up the UK’s predicament. No attempt to recover the bus’s situation as the obsession is to find a new driver. Thus, I struggle to know what to write. Or at least, what to write that is not part of the echo chamber centred on who is be the next UK Prime Minister. However, the message is clear; very few of the intractable problems they we face have changed in the last 3-months. By the way, there are an enormous number of uncomplimentary Brexit cartoons that feature big red buses.
It was a year ago the UK Government published some slides called the: ‘Framework for the future UK-EU partnership‘ for transport. I must take it that these slides remain applicable. That means the UK wishes to continue to explore possible terms for participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
I have just come back from attending the 2019 EASA – FAA International Aviation Safety Conference in Cologne, Germany. More than 350 participants from all over the globe converged on Cologne for the 3-day event. I think there was about 40 Countries represented. The Countries of Europe, and the rest of the world, have a permanent common interest in civil aviation safety. Recent events have focused minds on that ever-present challenge as yearly passenger numbers reach 4.6 billon.
In the time that EASA has been around, that’s 15-years, the number of scheduled passengers handled by the global airline industry has increased in all but one year. That’s enough to concentrate anyone’s mind about safety but it also raises many questions about the environment and aviation security.
What I’m going to say now is entirely predicable and consistent with everything I’ve written so far. Working together in this region of the globe makes huge sense. No one Country is going to sort out safety, security and environmental challenges by themselves. In fact, if we can’t make good progress here in Europe it would seem doubtful that we could make progress in any world region.
At the start of what’s a new session for the European Parliament, I hope that enough politicians are motivated to burst out of the negative impasse that trouble us all. There’s a leadership role for Europe. It only needs the will to take it.
“Good planets are hard to come by. Please think of our environment before you print this Blog.”