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EU to set up a new European Partnership for Clean Aviation

23 February 2021

Today, the European Commission announced its proposal for the future European Partnerships, in a number of strategic industrial sectors including aviation and as part of the EU Horizon Europe framework programme for research and innovation. 

The European Partnership for Clean Aviation will build on the work done to date by the Clean Sky and Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertakings, pursuing innovative and impactful research to ensure climate neutrality by 2050. 

The goal of the European Partnership for Clean Aviation is to minimise the aviation sector’s environmental impact, as part of the European Green Recovery priority of the European Union. The aviation industry is fully committed to climate neutrality by 2050

In close collaboration with the European Commission, the European aeronautics sector has worked out a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Clean Aviation, spanning 2021-2031. Standing on the shoulders of the work done to date in the Clean Sky programmes, Clean Aviation will accelerate the development of disruptive technologies through simulations and integrated demonstrations of novel aircraft and propulsion configurations and systems at the aircraft platform level. 

Three main thrusts will be pursued as part of the Clean Aviation programme: hybrid electric and full electric concepts, ultra-efficient aircraft architectures, and disruptive technologies to enable hydrogen-powered aircraft. These will aim to culminate in a new breed of regional, short haul and short/medium haul airliners which will be offered to the market by 2030 for an entry into service by 2035. These new aircraft are likely to constitute 75% of the world’s commercial airline fleet by 2050 and thus will have a major impact on aviation’s emissions and climate impact.

Clean Aviation will be a core European programme which will be leveraged by further activities funded at national, regional and private levels. Driven by a common goal, this will allow European aviation to fully contribute to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, in line with the European Green Deal.

Axel Krein, Executive Director of Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, said: “The time has come for a radical change. We need faster, more disruptive innovations and a rapid influx and integration of key emerging technologies, including promising solutions from other sectors, to secure climate-neutral aviation. The European Commission’s announcement today is an important step towards achieving our goal. Faced with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must take this opportunity to re-imagine the aviation industry – in a sustainable and green way.”

Read the complete information on the European Commission proposal.

Download our press release here.