Evolution of current concepts will not be enough to achieve aeronautics objectives, says advisory group

July 24, 2002

Brussels, 23 July 2002

The objectives of the aeronautics strategic research agenda (SRA) will not be achievable without important breakthroughs in technology and operational concepts - evolution of current concepts will not be sufficient, the Advisory council for aeronautics research in Europe (ACARE) announced at the Farnborough international airshow in the UK on 23 July.

The objectives for the aeronautics industry laid out in the report, 'A vision for 2020', include the reduction of CO2 emissions by 50 per cent and Nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 per cent. It also calls for a fivefold reduction in the number of accidents, a reduction of noise emissions by 50 per cent and increased punctuality - 99 per cent of flights should arrive an depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

One year after the launch of ACARE, the group announced in Farnborough that the objectives, although ambitious, are achievable in Europe, if ACARE's SRA is adopted and implemented, and its results turned into practical products and services. However, technological and operational breakthroughs are vital to this process, believe ACARE.

ACARE also calls for additional pan-European supporting mechanisms within the European research area (ERA), more output from the European aeronautic research community, more public and private investment and a climate conducive to retaining core competence, capacities and industrial centres of research.

'I welcome ACARE's findings,' said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin in Farnborough. 'They are consistent with the STAR 21 report (strategic aerospace review for the 21st century) released last week. All agree on the need to step up research in this sector. The success of our aeronautics industry today depends on research investments made 15 years ago. Without higher R&D investments today and a consistent approach at EU level, we compromise the sector's future,' he said.

Mr Busquin also underlined the necessity of collaboration at European level for the achievement of the SRA's objectives.

'In a global and highly competitive market, European enterprises cannot make it without joining forces with the EU and Member States. Building on a vision for aeronautics in the 21st century, we can avoid duplication and waste of resources, and pool forces to reach a critical mass at European scale. [...] On top of funding and access to finance, the sector needs regulatory and policy support, to help create a true aeronautics industrial platform at EU level,' said Mr Busquin.

ACARE also argues for extra mechanisms in addition to funding, in particular further contributions from the educational community in order to ensure a steady supply of people with the necessary capabilities, and a more effective and efficient research infrastructure.

The advisory council was set up in response to calls for a thorough review of how the EU aerospace sector might best be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century. An increase in aviation traffic cannot be endured by current systems, and more attention must also be paid to the needs of society for economic and social concerns.

ACARE consists of around 30 members, including representatives from the EU's aeronautics industry, Member States, the Commission, Eurocontrol (European organisation for the safety of air navigation), research centres, airlines, regulators and users. It meets several times a year with the aim of defining and maintaining a strategic research agenda which will serve as a blueprint in the planning of research programmes, particularly at national and EU level.

For further information, please consult the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/grow th/gcc/ka04.html#top

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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