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Aircraft Emissions and Reduction Technologies


Forecasts show continuing growth of 3-4 % per year for air transport to meet the needs of a modern society. Despite very good progress and impressive reductions in aero-engine emissions, further R&D is necessary to safeguard the environmental sustainability of the future entire air transport system. ACARE set a goal to reduce, by 2020, CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx emissions by 80%. Developing the necessary technologies and making them available to the stakeholders for production and operation is essential for the future of the European aviation industry in the face of global competition.

Project objectives

The AERONET III Coordination Action is a platform where all the stakeholders in the air transport system can meet, exchange information, views and experiences gathered in different EC projects and national programmes with regard to aircraft emissions and reduction technologies. In this context, and to support the general goal of reducing aviation emissions, AERONET III provides the tools to:

  • exchange information gathered in the different aviation emissions-related projects of the Sixth Framework Programme in Aeronautics, related projects in the Atmospheric Research Programme, and in other areas such as transport or energy;
  • raise the level of personal and corporate knowledge and confidence within the community;
  • identify gaps in knowledge and needs for further research and development, and facilitate the development of the appropriate research proposals;
  • support interdisciplinary relationships and increase knowledge through joint actions such as workshops, meetings, studies and reports;
  • support the policy and regulatory process by utilising the potential of the AERONET III forum to generate policy-relevant material.
Optical measurement of exhaust: the dissemination of the results of research of this kind, i.e. on aero engine noise and emissions, is the main objective of AERONET III.
Optical measurement of exhaust: the dissemination of the results of research of this kind, i.e. on aero engine noise and emissions, is the main objective of AERONET III.

Description of the work

AERONET III is a platform where stakeholders can exchange information, views and experiences. It consists of 11 thematic areas supported by a Coordination and Management Team, a Steering Group and a Policy Liaison Group. The areas are: Aircraft Technology, Engine Technologies, Fuels, Emissions Indices, Measurement Technology, Aircraft Plumes, Emissions-Noise, Air Traffic Management, Air Transport Development, Emissions Inventories, and Air Transport Systems Interaction Models. They are clustered within three Work Packages:

1. Aircraft and engine technology aspects of emissions reduction;

2. Airport air quality;

3. Air Transportation Environmental System.

Through these Work Packages and Thematic Areas the stakeholders exchange knowledge and information in order to support the overall European aeronautical strategic context and development with respect to aviation emissions and reduction technologies. The mechanisms used for dissemination are:

  • Workshops: These are planned on an annual basis and according to the needs of the community. The workshop proceedings are confidential and restricted to the partnership and the participants. A summary is accessible to the public through the AERONET website. Important workshop topics are, for example, the ‘airport air quality’ issue with an objective to contribute to a reliable assessment of air traffic’s contribution to airport air pollution, the ‘fuel thermal stability’ issue in advanced combustors, and the ‘hydrogen as a potential aviation fuel’ issue plus the associated problems of storage and handling.
  • Studies: According to the needs of the community, the Co-ordination and Management Team (CMT) identifies particular topics that are not necessarily appropriate to a dedicated workshop but that form a vital input to another workshop. Examples for studies are ‘potential for reducing the NOx emissions for hydrogen and kerosene-fuelled aero gas turbines’ or ‘review of hydrocarbon (HC) speciation at airports and potential for local air pollution’.
  • Website: The AERONET websiteexternal link contains information on AERONET activities, links to related projects and networks, a library section with publishable reports and documents and a partner section containing documents (e.g. workshop reports, studies) restricted to the partners.

Expected results

AERONET will continue through its networking activities to support the overall aeronautical environmental goal of substantial aviation emissions reduction by providing the stakeholders with a platform that can be used to exchange technical information and identify knowledge gaps, but also to support the policy and regulatory process.