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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: workshops/meetings » Minimum Flight Distance Introduced

version: 6 / updated: 2011-01-27
id: #1526 / version id: #928
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Originally submitted by: Sivert von Saldern
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Source of inspiration


iKnow workshop country name


Workshop date

May 2010

The source of the Wild Card is

Discussion on wild cards in the transport working group.

Uploaded reports, images or pictures related to the Wild Card

File name File type File size
Minimum Flight Distance.jpg image 137423 open


(max. 9 words)

Minimum Flight Distance Introduced


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Due to environmental reasons and the scarcity of resources, especially of crude oil, a minimum flight distance of 500 kilometres has been introduced in Europe. Thus, travelling to destinations which are less than 500 kilometres away has to be realised by alternative means of transport, such as trains, busses, cars or boats. This wild card has a number of vast impacts on different areas, e.g. it might significantly affect peoplesĀ“ travel patterns and could certainly lead to a revival of road and rail usage.


Aviation, Flight Distance, Green Transport, Short-Distance Flights, Travel


(max. 250 characters)

Due to environmental reasons and the scarcity of resources, especially of crude oil, a minimum flight distance of 500 kilometres has been introduced in Europe.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 1: business models and industrial environment
This wild card could lead to immense structural changes in the aviation industry and a change in cost structures, not only with regard to airline providers but manufacturers of airplanes, particularly of small ones, as well. The rising costs for providers would be passed to customers in form of rising ticket prices.
Feature 3: consumers, markets and lifestyles
Travelling is getting less comfortable, e.g. short-dated travels due to important events from London to Paris or from Berlin to Frankfurt would not be possible anymore. In business, this circumstance would certainly lead to a rise of conducting video or telephone conference systems.

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A counter trend/development/situation
(e.g. There is a massive decline in mobile phone usage due to fears of health hazards; Considerations of privacy lead to the banning of video surveillance in public spaces
The wild card might lead to an increase of car and rail usage.

Type of systems affected





please specify:
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union The wild card might lead to an isolation of some European cities and areas.

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

There are mainly two major weak signals which indicate the prospective occurrence of this wild card scenario. These are the scarcity of fossil resources, basically crude oil which is used to produce kerosene, and the strong environmental pollution which is caused by aviation and which is proven to be particularly extreme on short distance flights. These two factors strongly foster the prevailing discussion on climate change and sustainable development in European governments and societies, which indicate a shift in consumption patterns towards sustainability and responsible consumption. Another weak signal is the current construction of new and the upgrade of already exist-ing high speed lines between major traffic conjunctions, e.g. between Cologne and Frankfurt, Cologne and Paris (via Brussels) or between Stuttgart and Paris.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
economic filters (business/market interests)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Economic due to rising prices of resources, flying might become much more expensive so that other means of transportation are much more attractive for shorter distances
Environmental mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
traffic chaos on European highways
medium term
(5 to 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
long term
(more than 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
expansion of the European railway infrastructure

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Academic/Research sector research project: modeling the consequences of the introduction of a minimum flight distance

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change
Social cohesion and diversity
Energy security/dynamics
Sustainability and climate change

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Environment (including Climate Change)
Transport (including aeronautics)
Regional development

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Increasing the efficiency and impact of public research through Joint Programming (i.e. combining national and pan-European research efforts) or the optimisation of research programmes and priorities, for example.
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Research should primarily focus on the development of multi-modal transport concepts, integrated and alternative transport infrastructures and on alternative combustion and fuels in order to reduce emissions.