One of the ways that Europe can differentiate itself in a post-industrial economy is through the aeronautics sector. The EU-funded project AIRTN upgraded research cooperation in this important domain among EU States and Associate Countries. In particular, it worked on enabling access to national and regional research initiatives to stakeholders in all countries involved. As part of its mandate, the project consolidated information about national and global aeronautics research programmes in an online platform and through web forums, in addition to organising related workshops. It outlined key areas of collaboration and identified common research topics in order to articulate terms of reference and best practices for joint initiatives. Moreover, AIRTN enhanced the aeronautics arena in Europe with stronger links to the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) and the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) joint undertaking. It also supported the efforts of Eurocontrol, the organisation that is advancing a 'Single European Sky' for seamless air traffic management (ATM) across the continent. Beyond the virtual platform of exchange, which also represents a laboratory for advancing the industry, the project has organised networking forums and disseminated critical information to further aeronautic research. Many joint initiatives are set to emerge from these efforts, helping to position Europe as a leader in one of the most lucrative sectors in the world.