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Lifting off for safer aviation in Europe

The massive increase in aviation traffic over the past 20 years means that safety measures remain of crucial importance. The European Union aims to have the safest region to fly in the world by 2050, reducing the number of accidents in commercial flights to less than one per ten million and reducing the accident rate in non-commercial flights by 80% compared to the year 2000. Research and innovation are thus essential ingredients and this Results Pack highlights six EU-funded projects that are charting the flightpath forward for ultimately reaching this goal.

Transport and Mobility
Industrial Technologies

Flying is indeed one of the safest forms of transport, with Europe having an extremely good record in this regard. However, with ever-increasing traffic levels and the fact that Europe is home to approximately 150 airlines, our skies are becoming busier and fuller. Consequently, the European Commission is dedicated to ensuring that new technologies are developed and deployed to further reduce the likelihood of future accidents and casualties (see for example the Commission’s ‘Flightpath 2050 – Europe’s Vision for Aviation’ report and the EU's 2015 Aviation Strategy). There are several key areas where EU-funded research and innovation efforts are focused. These include addressing aspects on the design, manufacturing and operations of aircraft and infrastructures; mitigating the risks of the effects of extreme weather conditions and other hazards from the natural environment; and reducing the impact of human factors and human errors on active and passive safety. Intelligent and integrated transport systems, as well as connectivity applications, may also provide useful tools for enhanced aviation safety. Moreover, maintaining a high level of safety in the skies is not just a European challenge, rather it is a truly global effort. International cooperation is thus essential to ensure network safety and the development of globally agreed rules and standards (also a keen topic of interest for EU research) that complements and provides an important framework for the exciting technological solutions being championed by European researchers and industry. This CORDIS Results Pack is honing in on six EU-funded projects that are reaching for the skies to provide concrete and ground-breaking solutions for increasing aviation safety in Europe. These results will also contribute to further cementing the European aviation industry’s world-leading role in terms of competitiveness and providing the best products and services. European air transport has a long history of innovation and worldwide cooperation, which will be vital for its future success, particularly in a twenty-first century world where we must do more, sooner, and with less available economic resources.

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