The COVID-19 crisis has hit the global aviation sector hard. It is expected that the recovery process of the sector will carry us over 2024 in order to achieve pre-corona levels, bankrupting many businesses along the way. Private investments in R&D will dry up, and we risk falling significantly behind on our ambition to become the world’s first climate neutral continent.

But not all is gloomy. Being Research and Innovation Institutes, we see exciting new innovations coming to be which will revolutionize aviation and the transport system it operates in. Fully autonomous aircraft, revolutionary configurations and new, climate-neutral propulsion mechanism are just few of the areas where significant changes can be expected in the next decades.

To accelerate the transition towards a climate-neutral aviation in a post-corona world, we feel that several actions need to be taken:

  1. EREA calls upon Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean to renew Europe’s aviation vision. Much has changed since Flighpath 2050 was drafted. EREA is ready to help shape this new vision of aviation.
  2. Reinforce public funding to accelerate the transition towards a climate neutral aviation. Now, more than ever, public funding will drive innovation. At a European level as well as nationally and regionally, it is essential that sufficient funding is available.
  3. Create the right framework conditions for an accelerated transition. Attractive and inclusive public-private partnerships are key in making the transition, as well as the availability of state-of-the-art Technology Infrastructures (TI). It is estimated that an extra € 400 million is needed to fill the investment gaps for TIs.
  4. Stronger Together. The transition towards climate-neutrality can only be made when the entire innovation chain works together. Collaborative, European research should be at the heart of the transition.

Please read our full position paper on accelerating the transition towards a climate-neutral aviation here.