5 questions to Marija Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission.

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

1 What are your personal expectations for #ILA22 – what are you most looking forward to?

As ILA Berlin is synonymous to innovation in aviation, space and defence, it is an opportunity for me to discuss with the European aviation leaders and re-align the new European aviation research vision, towards aviation climate neutrality by 2050. At the same time, I am looking forward to witnessing first-hand the innovations in aircrafts and systems that are delivered from this truly global ecosystem, especially the ones that benefited from European Aviation research and innovation.

2 What key trends do you currently see in the aerospace industry?

Global aviation is at crossroads with climate, energy, health, geopolitical and competitiveness pressures. Europe, as global market leader, has the responsibility to transform and deliver technologies that will make aviation climate neutrality by 2050 a reality. International collaboration is necessary in overcoming the above mentioned pressures. The European Commission stands together with Member States and industry towards a growth aerospace strategy with sustainability at its core.

3 What can policymakers do to advance towards the goal of climate neutrality in aerospace?

Climate neutrality for aviation by 2050 can only be achieved in phases and a combination of measures (i.e. fleet replacement, new technologies, optimised operations, market-based measures and new fuels). The European Commission proposed a year ago the “fit for 55“ package of measures contributing to the pathway to climate-neutrality. Out of the 13 measures, 6 are applicable to aviation and their impact and strength lies in their interdependencies. At the same time, Horizon Europe complements national and industrial research roadmaps towards new efficient and Zero Emission Aircraft technologies.

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

From the past, the Wright brothers would have been on the top of my list, while from today, beyond the High-Level Personalities present in ILA22, I would like to meet and congratulate the brilliant European aerospace graduates in academia, research establishments and industry that apply their skills and excellent education to the benefits of climate neutral aviation.

5 In your view, what is the aerospace industries most important addition to economy and society as a whole?

Aerospace brings substantial European economic and societal benefits beyond borders. The future of Europe depends on a connected and united Europe and both depend on aviation. That’s why the very long aviation cycles justify proportional public intervention and a coherent approach to research and innovation pathways. The money we invest on aviation research are multiplied for the benefit of all Europeans.