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Air Cargo Technology Road Map

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Enabling next-generation cargo aeroplanes

Tomorrow's freight planes will have to better meet end-user requirements and environmental needs. EU researchers drew up a technology roadmap to enable a new generation of air cargo planes to be realised.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

The EU-funded 'Air cargo technology road map' (CARGOMAP) project focused on the future role of air freight. It defined a plan to fill related technology, regulatory and operational gaps in order to fulfil future requirements considering current capabilities. It began by analysing the present situation, and identified the bottlenecks and challenges in air freight transport that are expected to arise in the future. CARGOMAP investigated air cargo operations of the future and the new generation of cargo aircraft that Europe will need to remain competitive as a global air freight operator. By 2020, no major changes in the air cargo industry business models, operations and aircraft are foreseen. Researchers identified several challenges that lie ahead for air freight. These include overburdened airports in terms of capacity, new environmental regulations and restrictions, air traffic management and rising oil prices. In addition, they established that current political and policy issues, such as climate change and the threat of international terrorism, can also have an impact on air freight transport. Based on business models, the project also identified the technologies that will be needed to create a new generation of novel aeroplanes between 2030 and 2050. Researchers concentrated on enabling technologies and specifically targeted air cargo operations and aircraft. They presented 18 distinct kinds of aircraft combinations that could supply the market. These solutions were contrasted based on speed, cost and frequency. Outcomes formed the basis of a report that provides an overview of all the completed tasks and the technology roadmap developed during the project lifetime. CARGOMAP laid out the challenges, opportunities and future role of air freight. By proposing innovative aircraft technologies that are tailored to cargo needs, the project hopes to establish Europe as a leader in the future air freight market.


Cargo aeroplanes, freight planes, air cargo, cargo planes, air freight, aircraft technologies

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