Defence budget cuts across Europe could provide an opportunity to consolidate the market, but only if there is sufficient political will, according to Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe secretary general François Gayet.

With the exception of certain "sensitive areas", the defence market "should be open to competition across Europe", says Gayet. "There is a need for political will to move forward. I fear there is a tendency for some states to refocus on national markets - this could be a very bad move so we are advocating to governments and our members to use this opportunity to merge some activities."

If governments and industries show signs of being "more reasonable", adds Gayet, "we could see a new era of consolidation across Europe".

For the European aerospace industry as a whole, Gayet lists two main challenges that need to be overcome. The first is emerging competition from countries such as China, Russia and Brazil, and the second is "how to cope with the ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions".

On the second challenge, Gayet is "confident" that carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced to half the levels recorded in 2005 by 2050, largely as a result of future engine technologies, air traffic management initiatives and the use of biofuels.

Source: Flight Daily News