IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to adisclaimerand acopyright notice
 
Contact   |   Search on EUROPA  
European Research News Centre - Homepage
Graphic
Weekly Headlines RTD info magazine Diary Press releases Contacts
Graphic
image European Research News Centre > Transport > Aeronautics and Space: onward and upward
image image
image image image Date published: 07/11/02
  image Aeronautics and Space: onward and upward
RTD info special FP6
image  
   
  Safety, profitability, sustainability: these are the three priorities of the aeronautics industry – and of the research which is shaping the growth of a sector rich in economic potential. Meanwhile space – where the applications are still of a relatively recent generation – has definite development potential for the information society and environmental monitoring, as well as being a powerful strategic tool for political security. In all these areas, research is continuing apace.
   
   

While it is sensitive to such traumatic events as those of 11 September 2001, which brought a temporary setback for the airlines, as globalisation continues to accelerate, aeronautics will most certainly remain one of the most dynamic sectors of the global economy during the decades to come. Air traffic is set to triple in volume by 2020, with passenger traffic increasing at a rate of 5% a year and cargo traffic at 6%. This will generate a world-wide demand for about 15 500 new aircraft at an estimated value of ?1.3 trillion.

New priorities

The major challenge facing the aviation industry today is to meet this growing demand for mobility while at the same time meeting the new imperative of sustainable development. Although much has been achieved over the past 30 years, thanks in particular to the Airbus programme, the priorities have changed: the watchwords are no longer 'higher, further and faster' but 'safer, cleaner, quieter' – plus increased accessibility.

A new generation of aircraft must be developed to meet these economic, environmental and safety concerns which are generally shared by passengers and anyone living in the vicinity of an airport. In January 2001, European aircraft manufacturers drew up specifications for air transport in 2020, which can be summed up in five major goals:

  •  to reduce accidents by one-fifth;
  •  to reduce aircraft noise pollution by half;
  •  to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre-passenger by half (while reducing fuel consumption);
  •  to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%; and
  •  to develop an air traffic control system able to manage 16 million flights a year with airports operational 24 hours a day and offering increased comfort for passengers.

Space services

The space sector is of course facing challenges of a different kind. Satellite applications are now proving to be tools which can be used in everyday applications in many economic sectors – meteorology, agriculture, fishing, transport, telecommunications – as well as in implementing environmental, defense and joint security policy.

However, the present generation of satellites is based on devices developed over the past two decades and would benefit from upgrading. Whether in radio navigation (for transport in particular), earth observation (for environmental and security needs) or telecommunications, there is a vast potential to develop new systems equipped with much more efficient technological facilities.

Mathematical modelling for the study of aerodynamics. (c) BAE

Mathematical modelling for the study of aerodynamics.
(c) BAE

 
The European Transonic Windtunnel (ETW) test chamber in Cologne. (c) ETW

The European Transonic Windtunnel (ETW) test chamber in Cologne.
(c) ETW

 
Complete with lounge, study and bedroom... The aircraft of the future. (c) Airbus

Complete with lounge, study and bedroom... The aircraft of the future.
(c) Airbus

 
Airbus wing assembly. (c) BAE

Airbus wing assembly.
(c) BAE

 
Flight simulator for the Airbus system. (c) BAE

Flight simulator for the Airbus system.
(c) BAE



European Research News Centre - Homepage
Graphic
Weekly Headlines RTD info magazine Diary Press releases Contacts
Graphic
Untitled Document