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Clean Aviation Annual Forum 2024: there’s no better time to invest in aviation’s sustainable future

News actualites aeromorning


The two-day Clean Aviation Annual Forum, which currently takes place in Brussels, showcases Europe’s commitment to bringing cleaner aircraft into service by 2035, thereby maintaining its global industrial leadership, and being on track for climate-neutrality in aviation by 2050. 

Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, said “Aviation isn’t just important economically. It quite literally brings people together. We now need to take ambitious action towards a clean, sustainable, and globally competitive European aviation industry.  The EU has deployed several instruments to facilitate the transformation – be it through the ETS, funding to de-risk and innovate, or through the EU taxonomy. I also believe that open dialogue and active participation of the entire value chain will be essential to developing and scaling up the technologies to power low- and zero-carbon flights.”

Extensive public and private funding in research and innovation is crucial to ensuring that ground-breaking technologies are being developed, and a European aviation eco-system is being maintained and further enhanced.

Axel Krein Executive Director of the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, said: “Following the success of the European Public Private Partnerships Clean Sky and now Clean Aviation, we count on the European public and private decision makers to further extend their support. In doing so, they are helping to enable a bright European aviation future that is environmentally friendly, competitive on the world market and industrially robust.”

Highlighting the tangible outcomes of collaborative efforts, the event’s exhibition, the so-called Clean Sky 2 Hardware Hub, presents over 15 cutting-edge sustainable aviation innovations. These pioneering technologies, showcased as some of the direct results of the Clean Sky 2 programme, are instrumental in reducing CO2, NOx and noise emissions by 20 to 30% when compared to 2014 ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft.

Notable innovations on display include, for example:

  • A RACER High Speed Rotorcraft demonstrator mock up: A pioneering helicopter, capable of cruising at speeds of up to 400km/h, designed to provide the best trade-off between safety, cost efficiency, and sustainability. Its environmental objectives cover 20% reductions in CO2, NOX and noise;
  • A MultiFunctional Fuselage Demonstrator test shell: Unveiling the potential of thermoplastic composites, the Multifunctional Fuselage Demonstrator (MFFD) will help future European airliner production to become faster, greener, and more competitive. The MFFD is a unique 8-metre-long fuselage barrel which aims to reduce the weight of the fuselage by one ton. Its ecological impact covers CO2 and NOx emissions reduction during the whole life cycle due to less weight and higher efficiency of the integrated structure;
  • An Ultrafan Fan Blade: one blade of the largest fan system in aerospace: a lightweight solution delivering significant efficiency benefits (up to 20% more fuel efficient), protection from bird strikes plus a reduction in noise footprint;
  • Open Fan engine demonstrator mock up: Demonstrating the benefits of the Open Fan architecture in terms of environmental goals (targeting 20% CO2 reduction versus current in-service engines) and fuel efficiency to address the needs of the future generation of Short & Medium Range (SMR) Aircraft.

As the Clean Sky 2 programme nears its conclusion this year, it will have brought together close to 1000 entities from across Europe in high-tech projects, delivered more than 100 demonstrators and over 1,000 innovative technologies. Photos of the innovations on display will be available for download on the Clean Aviation Flickr account on 6 March 2024.

The Clean Aviation Programme, which commenced its first projects in early 2023, builds on the success of Clean Sky and further develops and elevates some of the technologies explored in this earlier programme, bringing them to a new level of performance by combining them with new advanced technological concepts. The final target is to reach minimum 30% of greenhouse gas emission reductions (80 – 100% CO2 reduction incl. the use of SAF or Hydrogen) for new regional and short-medium range aircraft with an entry into commercial airline service by 2035.

About the Clean Sky programme

Clean Sky aimed to develop cleaner air transport technologies for earliest possible deployment. That meant integrating, demonstrating, and validating technologies capable of reducing CO2, NOx and noise emissions by 20 to 30% compared to 2014 ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft. Besides improving the environmental impact of aeronautical technologies, including those related to small aviation, the objective of Clean Sky 2 was also to develop a strong and globally competitive aeronautical industry and supply chain in Europe. The Clean Sky 2 programme was jointly funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020, the previous EU research and innovation programme, and the major European aeronautics companies, with a total budget of approximately €4 billion.

About Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking

The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking is the European Union’s leading research and innovation programme for transforming aviation towards a sustainable and climate-neutral future. It is a successful European public-private partnership between the European Commission through Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme, and the European aeronautics industry. It has a budget of €4.1 billion divided into €1.7 billion in EU funding and no less than €2.4 billion in private funding. The programme’s disruptive clean aviation technologies will help reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases for commercial air travel by no less than 30% compared to the best aircraft models available today. Clean Aviation builds on the knowledge and expertise of the Clean Sky programmes (2008-2024).

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