Seven CTOs of leading global aerospace manufacturers issue statement reiterating benefits of aviation and unveil three-point strategy for improving sustainability

CTOs of some of the world’s biggest aerospace manufacturers joined forces to unveil a strategy aimed at balancing growing concern surrounding climate change with the benefits of greater connection and transportation offered by the aviation sector.

The statement was signed by seven CTOs from global aerospace manufacturers: Grazia Vittadini of Airbus; Greg Hyslop from The Boeing Company; Bruno Stoufflet, Dassault Aviation; Eric Ducharme, GE Aviation; Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce; Stéphane Cueille, Safran and Paul Eremenko of UTC.

The statement reiterated the manufacturer’s commitment to the sector and promoted its wider benefits to humanity: “Aviation connects our world by efficiently and rapidly moving people, opening new economic opportunities and transporting food and goods all over our planet. Aviation promotes global understanding, generating rich cultural exchanges and thereby contributing to peaceful co-existence.”

“At the same time, climate change has become a clear concern for our society. Humanity’s impact on the climate requires action on many fronts. The aviation industry is already taking significant action to protect the planet and will continue to do so.”

Commitment to reduce net CO2 emissions

The industry leaders acknowledged that aviation contributed to two per cent of human-made carbon dioxide emissions and reiterated the challenge to the industry to reduce net CO2 emissions, even with demand for air travel and transport set to grow significantly.

The statement added that the industry, through the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), had become the world’s first industrial sector to set an ambitious target to reduce CO2 emissions to half of year 2005 levels by 2050, and to limit the growth of net CO2 emissions by 2020. It added that the industry was “on track to meet those near-term commitments” through implementation of a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) program which was agreed upon this year by nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Aggressive and necessary commitments

The statement noted: “The Chief Technology Officers of seven of the world’s leading aviation manufacturers are now each working at an unprecedented level to ensure the industry meets these aggressive and necessary commitments.”

It also unveiled a three-point strategy for improved sustainability:

  • Continuing to develop aircraft and engine design and technology in a relentless pursuit of improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions
  • Supporting the commercialisation of sustainable, alternate aviation fuels. Around 185,000 commercial flights have already proven that today’s aircraft are ready to use them.
  • Developing radically new aircraft and propulsion technology and accelerating technologies that will enable the ‘third generation’ of aviation.

Commitments to reducing other environmental impacts such as efficient air traffic management and routing to minimise fuel consumption and noise reduction were also included.

CTOs issue rallying call to industry

The seven CTOs called for other manufacturers to join them, with the rallying cry of “Let’s make this future together.”

The statement acknowledged that efforts to increase sustainability would require significant buy in from stakeholders outside of the aviation community: “The future of aviation is bright. Yet, in addition to the significant efforts our sector is undertaking, we also depend on the coordinated support from policymakers, regulators and governments working together to achieve these goals.”

“There must be additional public and private commitment to establish a sound regulatory foundation to address the novel issues associated with emerging aviation technologies and to provide the necessary economic support for widespread SAFs commercialisation. We envision broader, deeper and ongoing coordination through ICAO to facilitate unified approaches to regulation with established national and global regulatory and standards-setting bodies. These include the US Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Transport Canada, ANAC of Brazil and others.”

The statement concluded: “As industry CTOs we are committed to driving the sustainability of aviation. We believe in this industry and its role in making our world a brighter and safer place. We also strongly believe we have an approach to make aviation sustainable and play an even bigger role in our global community.”