Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Safety is embedded in aircraft design and operations making air transport the safest transport mode. In Europe, accident rates involving passenger fatalities are of the order of 1.6 accidents per million flights (EASA[1], 2011). Nevertheless, existing risks (e.g. cabin air quality) and new risks (e.g. arising from the integration of new technologies, new operations or emerging potential hazards) must be actively monitored and mitigated; continuous efforts are necessary to maintain the excellent records Europe has achieved over the last 60 years. Furthermore, the aviation community pursues a further decrease of accident rates by one order of magnitude and further significant progress will be achieved only if safety is addressed at system level. Therefore actions are needed using an integrated approach to safety.

Scope: Proposals will encompass research and innovation actions in targeted areas of aviation safety. The proposed research and innovation actions should be part of a broader safety roadmap established at system level, identifying and prioritising practical actions to be undertaken in the next seven years. It should be consistent with other roadmaps (e.g. European Aviation Research Partnership Group thematic programme, Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE). Coordination with key European organisations which have a mandate in aviation safety (e.g. EASA, EUROCONTROL) and key European Initiatives (e.g. ACARE Working Group 4 on ‘Safety and Security’, OPTICS Coordination Action on safety research) should be ensured.

Proposals should also demonstrate that the research and innovation actions for which EU-funding is requested will be complemented by other research and innovation actions on safety carried out by the proposal partners with at least an equivalent magnitude in terms of estimated resources (e.g. cumulated effort in person-months) in a time frame which matches that of the project. A methodology should be put forward to evaluate this leverage effect during the project and at its end. The proposal should describe how links will be established with the other research and innovation actions from the partners and how the project will contribute to coordinate these.

The composition of the consortium should reflect openness and the fact that the partners have been selected in the light of the nature of the proposed actions. The overall management of the initiative could be designed for a longer term than the duration of the project with a potential to be extended to other activities after a first review of the concept. Where relevant, actions could include networking with projects from leading entities from third countries, to leverage resources and global impact (e.g. with US and Canada).

Proposals should demonstrate in a quantified manner their potential to mature the Technology Readiness Level (TRL; please see part G of the General Annexes) of technologies and concepts in the range 1-6. Proposals should also provide ad-hoc indicators to measure the expected progress in terms of reduction of the number of accidents when comparing the situation before the start of the project and after the implementation of results. Also an indicator assessing the magnitude of the leverage effect resulting from the coordination of the research based on both the EU-funded part and the part of the work relying on partners in-house resources should be provided.

Expected impact: Actions will contribute to reach by 2050 less than one accident per 10 million commercial aircraft flight departures and an 80% reduction of the accident rate compared to 2000 for specific operations, where weather hazards are evaluated and mitigated, in a system which includes all types of air vehicles, manned and unmanned, while preserving cost and time efficiency. It is also expected that the proposal will gather critical mass on a pan-European scale, overcoming gaps, duplication and fragmentation, create a leverage effect, enhance coherence and efficiency of aviation safety research in Europe and underpin the development of future safety regulations, operations and technology.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

[1]     European Aviation Safety Agency.

Record Number: 664886 / Last updated on: 2015-03-25