Sustainable aviation for Europe

Report entitled Fly the Green Deal

At ILA Berlin, the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) presented its report entitled Fly the Green Deal, which envisages numerous concrete steps on the way to climate-neutral aviation. 

Normally, Rosalinde van der Vlies, director of the Clean Planet Directorate in DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, is no great fan of visions. She prefers concrete steps. However, with the release at ILA Berlin of the report entitled Fly the Green Deal – Europe’s Vision for Sustainable Aviation by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE), she changed her mind and enthusiastically embraced its significance. Not only did it examine climate-neutrality, but it also took factors such as competition, technological advances and education into account. Furthermore, stakeholders widely approved the report. 

More than 40 organisations and associations are under the umbrella of ACARE, among them representatives of member states, the European Commission and interest groups, as well as of manufacturers, airlines, airports, service providers, regulatory authorities, research institutions and universities. Together with them, Rosalinde van der Vlies wants the visions for climate-neutral aviation to become reality. 

Federal Government Aerospace Coordinator Dr. Anna Christmann also had good things to say about the publication. She welcomed the fact that sustainability was on the agenda everywhere at ILA Berlin. Now the aim was to take concrete action such as establishing a single European airspace. With the introduction of the aviation research programme LuFo Climate, the federal government was providing funds for developing climate-friendly aviation technology. In Germany there was also support for the production of sustainable aircraft fuels (SAFs), which was why this was the right place to present ACARE’s visions.

Cross-sectoral networks

Jean-Brice Dumont, chair of ACARE and executive vice president, Military Aircraft, Airbus, stressed the necessity to network with other industries. His deputy Bart de Vries from KLM wants to press “action mode“. Even if retrofitting aircraft for use of sustainable fuels was not easy, there were many things that could be improved already, such as airport operations. Progress had to be closely monitored, he said. 

With its Green Deal, the European Union has formulated significantly stricter sustainability goals and shortened the period for attaining them. For the aviation industry it means the goals have been revised, are more comprehensive and must be achieved earlier than originally planned. Europe is targeting zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Germany aims to achieve this earlier.