October 23, 2015

Aviation research in Europe – DLR takes over as Chair of ACARE

Europe is home to some 450 airlines, 700 airports and a world-leading aviation industry. For 15 years, the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and innovation in Europe (ACARE) has been bringing together the foremost commercial and scientific representatives in the European aviation industry to jointly develop guidelines for European aviation research. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has been actively playing a leading role in ACARE since its foundation and is now taking the Chair again.

The ACARE General Assembly elected the DLR Executive Board Member responsible for aeronautics research Rolf Henke as the new Chair on 20 October 2015, at a meeting held during the Aerodays event in London. "The success story of aviation needs courage to make fundamental new developments so it can cope sustainably with the growing issue of mobility in the face of increasing requirements in terms of environmental friendliness, reliability and convenience," says Henke, who is taking over the Chair for the next two years. "ACARE offers a unique strategic forum for this goal in Europe that gives our efforts in aviation research a shared direction." Peter Hartman, Vice-Chairman of Air France KLM, previously held the position.

Expanding the research agenda

The first task for ACARE under its new leadership will be to adapt the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), published three years ago, to changing conditions. "ACARE has called on all its members to formulate changes in the need for research from the perspectives of the aviation industry, flight safety, airports, the aeronautics sector and the member states," explains Henke. "In this way, we can guarantee that developing research areas are adequately taken into consideration in the strategic guidelines."

New manufacturing processes, cyber security, developments in the area of uncrewed aviation and incidents such as the disappearance of flight MH370 and the crash of the Germanwings aircraft in the French Alps are new factors that will affect the updating of the research agenda. As with previous documents, the updated research agenda will be reflected in European and national aviation research programmes.

In March 2011, the European Commission published 'Flightpath 2050' – its vision for aviation. This includes key goals for the development of aviation in Europe to the middle of this century. The goals include reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent and noise emissions by 65 percent, compared to 2000. To achieve these ambitious goals, ACARE published its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for public and private air transport in Europe in the following year. The agenda sets out the long-term research and development work on the road to clean, quiet, convenient and safe air transport.

Highlights from 15 years of ACARE

ACARE is a forum for aviation stakeholders that has set the research agenda for delivering significant improvements in sustainable, reliable, affordable and passenger- friendly aviation since 2000. Thousands of research projects by ACARE members followed the first set of challenging goals in 'Vision 2020'. To mark the 15-year anniversary of its existence, a compilation has now been brought out showcasing the exceptional research work that has been carried out to date under the ACARE guidelines and that has brought aviation significantly closer to Vision 2020. This includes the Total Airport Management Suite (TAMS) project in which, under the leadership of DLR, five European partners have been investigating how various air and ground-based airport processes can be efficiently controlled from a shared situation centre. In its guidelines, ACARE is also pursuing the goal of promoting the interest of newcomers in aviation research. DLR_School_Labs make an important contribution to this.

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