For anyone working in the aviation industry, the last two years most likely felt more of a rollercoaster than a glide slope. And to be honest, that also felt for us here at Adecs. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Fortunately for us, the ups were in the majority.
Let us not beat around the bush; the aviation industry is still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent figures from Statistics Netherlands show that in the third quarter of 2021, twelve million passengers flew in and from the five national airports. Although that is more than double the number of passengers in Q3 2020, it is still only half the number of passengers pre-Covid-19. And that is noticeable at the airports. People will tell you it is quite in the terminals.
Whilst this is all happening, aviation keeps innovating itself. The focus on sustainability, which already started before the pandemic, is continuing to be razor sharp. Governments are stepping up their efforts to meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the aviation industry knows it has a pivotal role to play. During the last COP26 meeting in Glasgow, ICAO signed a declaration to step up their efforts as well. We will soon be posting a blog about this topic. In the meantime, we see all kinds of developments already having an impact on airports as well; Sustainable Air Fuel and a focus on electric flying. Another development we are seeing, is in the realm of drones and how they should function and be governed in our airspace. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, tasked with aviation, is taking the lead in exploring how to implement and regulate U-space. So, even though it has been a tough year, there are positives.
The same goes for us. 2021 started with a bit of uncertainty for us. Like every company, we had to deal with the restrictions of the pandemic. Working from home has sometimes taken a toll on us but being able to do more meetings online is something we see as positive. It does save a lot of travel time! But we have also faced some challenges due to the pandemic. Some projects have been put on hold or were delayed, partly because of the long coalition talks to form a new government, which means that certain policy decisions – on which we depend – are delayed.
The sharper focus on sustainability has also meant that internally we had a change of course. This started a few years ago. It has made us more experienced to consult on these matters. It also brought us in new territories such as unmanned airspace and Urban Air Mobility, something we feel will have a big impact on aviation in the coming years. It is something that piques our interest as we see a lot of opportunities in Urban Air Mobility.
Looking forward, the variety in all these challenges are only motivating us more to continue the path we are on now. Sustainability will become even bigger. And to find a way to implement that, whilst also helping airports to find a way to grow within these parameters, is a challenge we gladly accept. The possibilities that unmanned airspace and Urban Air Mobility will bring, are possibilities we want to explore and embrace, together with all our partners and clients!
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