• 17th of November, 2020
    11:00 > 11:45
  • Broadcast from SESAR JU, Brussels , Belgium
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Building a better future (Digital Sky Vodcast)

A green and technologically positive recovery for aviation is non-negotiable. That was core message from guests during the Digital Sky Vodcast on 17 November. Moderated by Andrew Charlton, Managing Director of aviation Advocacy, Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology, Patrick Ky, Executive Director, EASA, Florian Guillermet, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking, discussed what needs to be done to build back better in order to make aviation climate neutral for the generations to come.

The challenge today is how the industry can emerge intact from the crisis, while using it as an opportunity to transition to smarter and more sustainable operations. Key takeaways from the discussion include:

  • There is no one silver bullet to decarbonising the skies; it requires working on multiple technology pathways, such as sustainable fuels and the digital transformation of air traffic management. With the current traffic levels, now is the time to retire old aircraft and put in place the solutions/technologies (both airborne and ground) that will allow aircraft to fly the most efficient route, in terms of fuel.
  •  Incentives such as ‘best-equipped, best-served’ need to be developed to reward those who invest in new, greener technologies. This is also where the SESAR research and innovation programme can act; through green aviation demonstrators, early adopters will have a platform and financial advantage to make that transition.
  • The regulatory framework should be more conducive to the digital transformation by setting performance targets rather than imposing rigid technological choices that become obsolete very quickly. This is the approach taken for U-space or drone traffic management, but can also be applied to ATM.

The crisis can be the accelerator to force all stakeholders to work more closely and build back better. It is critical we do so in order to safeguard the competitiveness of Europe’s industry.

For that we need to develop technological and innovation capacity and independence, investing in research and innovation, and structural projects, to allow us to go towards technologies that will give us a competitive edge.

The vodcast is part of a series, which, since May, has been bringing together industry thought leaders to look at what the industry needs in order to reboot and the role that SESAR innovation can play in the process.