5 questions for Susanne Marks, managing director BBAA

Portraits - Pioneers from the aerospace industry and political decision-makers give personal insights and provide their assessment of current industry trends.

1    Do you have a special memory at ILA Berlin Airshow (Respectively: It’s your first ILA Berlin Airshow…) and what are your personal expectations for #ILA22?

I took part in the ILA Berlin for the first time in 2016 – during this time as a co-exhibitor at one of the many joint stands offered by the networks and business development agencies. The first impression was good, but I found the range of (re)presentation options for the numerous companies and research institutions in the German capital region too small. In 2018, the Berlin-Brandenburg Aerospace Alliance e. V. therefore organized its own joint stand in the International Supplier Center (ISC). A great success: not only were we able to offer some traditional exhibitors a new presentation forum, but we were also able to attract numerous companies that had not previously been represented at ILA Berlin. We have thus succeeded in presenting the diverse competencies of our region even better at the leading trade fair. Our goal is to present the Berlin-Brandenburg region with its strengths and opportunities at ILA Berlin again this year.

2    For you personally, do you see a most important trend in aerospace at the very moment? 

In addition to already established fields, new, forward-looking focal points are currently gaining in importance. The aviation industry faces the challenge of making a significant contribution to reducing harmful CO2 and other pollutant emissions. In particular, the development of low-emission aircraft engines, the introduction of sustainably produced, CO2-neutral aircraft fuels and the creation of the necessary conditions for the safe use of hydrogen at airports are key approaches that have become the focus of the R&D activities of the German capital region.

3    What do you enjoy most about your job and why did you choose aerospace? 

As a project manager in an industry network, every day is different. I get to know many impressive players from the aerospace industry and am involved in a wide variety of topics and issues. I can support companies and research institutions in the initiation of cooperation and projects and thus follow the exciting changes in aviation up close. Hardly any other industry has such a wealth of facets.

4    If you could meet one famous aerospace personality – living or from history: Who would it be and why? 

Otto Lilienthal. Driven by the desire being able to fly, Otto Lilienthal spent a long time thinking and trying out how he could turn his dream of flying into reality. He built and tried out as one of the first flying machines that could actually take off well. He completed his flights hundreds of times - that was sensational for the time. With his flying machines and his notes, he was a great help to other inventors who were enthusiastic about flying. He is rightly regarded as one of the most important German aviation pioneers.

5    From the perspective of your company, how does it contribute to sustainability / innovation / new technologies in a concrete way? 

In recent years, the BBAA has developed and implemented numerous projects on the subject of low-emission aviation in cooperation with regional companies and research institutions. The common, overarching goal of all these projects is to expand the existing regional competencies in the field of low-emission flying. Our projects are dedicated to a wide variety of aspects: from the development and construction of a demonstration aircraft for hybrid electric or electric engines, to the establishment of specific technology centres and the promotion of the "Airport of the Future". We want to continue these projects and develop the competencies and technologies on the way to green aviation.