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Milestone in European aviation – the strategic research and innovation agenda

At its general assembly on 10 July 2012 at the Farnborough Airshow, the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE)external link broadly endorsed its new strategic research agenda (Volume 1)external link – paving the way for aviation research and innovation up to 2050.

Tags: Air

With input from over 250 aviation sector experts,  the agenda specifies what's needed to reach the ambitious goals in the EU's 2011 Flightpath 2050 external link strategy document for the sector in 5 broad areas.

1. Research into technologies capable of providing European air passengers with seamless door- to-door travel.

2. Making European aviation more competitive – through new vehicle and air transport technologies, new approaches to testing & manufacturing and calls for improved regulation, standards, certification and incentives.

3. Reducing the environmental impact of air transport – through high-performance vehicles and operations, increased use of sustainable alternative fuels and eco-friendly airports. For this, individual targets will be needed for the different stakeholders and a way found to monitor progress. A better understanding of the climate impact of aviation is also needed as well as incentives and regulations to support the overall approach.

4. Developing a system-wide approach to safety and security. This means understanding the social requirements and introducing safety and security early in the design of vehicles and operations. New approaches to automation should be developed, centred on pilots, crew, controllers, personnel and of course passengers.

5. Optimising the research and innovation lifecycle, creating a strategic research infrastructure, including flying test beds, and an attractive and fully integrated educational system for aviation engineers.

While broadly endorsing the agenda, ACARE made several recommendations for fine-tuning the document, before it can be released publicly at the ILA airshow in Berlin on 13 September 2012.

The general assembly was chaired by T. Enders, CEO of EADS, with Vice-Chairs Peter Hartman, CEO of KLM, Marc Ventre, Deputy CEO of Safran and J. Woerner, Chairman of the Board of DLR, who was elected at the beginning of the general assembly.