European transport commissioner Siim Kallas recently presented Flightpath 2050, a report prepared by a group of high-ranking air transport executives in the European Union that sets research priorities and ambitious industry goals for 2050.
Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe
The air transport industry in Europe employs about 3.1 million people, and if air traffic doubles in 15 years as expected, the sector will contribute up to 13 percent of Europe’s gross domestic product. A thriving aerospace industry is therefore a key factor in the 25-nation European Union’s “Lisbon Strategy” to become the “most competitive economy in the world.”
The European Union plans an ever more ambitious seventh framework program for research (FP7) that will encompass a longer period (seven years versus five previously) and include new approaches including a joint technology initiative (JTI) project led by the industry.