European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Programme Category


Article available in the following languages:


Innovative technologies for improving aviation safety and certification in icing conditions (InCo flagship)


Although several research activities addressed the issue of ice accretion on aircraft, resulting in improved understanding of icing phenomena, and also in promising strategies to detect and to remove ice accretion, those advancements were mostly focused on airframe. Future advancements should also include engines as well as rotorcrafts. In addition, reduction of power consumption of in-flight anti/de-icing devices and of the negative environmental impact of anti/de-icing processes is necessary, both in-flight and on the ground.

The proposals may aim at addressing several or all of the following areas:

  • Further advancements in the detection, understanding, sensing, modelling, simulation and testing of icing, de-icing and anti-icing of all types in aviation (e.g. mixed-phase, ice crystals, super cooled large droplets, etc).
  • Explore/propose/validate new certification methods, means of compliance, standards and protection systems (e.g. either active or passive, including coatings) for all types of icing and air vehicles, engines and on-board systems.
  • Address the overall system integration, including operational and maintenance aspects.

The range of TRLs to address is broad, from fundamental research up to TRL 5 (at the end of the project). In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation[[(COM(2012)497]]), multilateral international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries such as United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil and Australia. International cooperation can include work towards global monitoring of in-service events and icing hazards and towards joint tests, standards and certification, taking into account the activities of bodies such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EUROCAE and United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Proposals may include the commitment from the European Aviation Safety Agency to assist or to participate in the action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This action is part of the Aviation International Cooperation Flagship called ""Safer and Greener Aviation in a Smaller World"" mentioned in the introduction to this work programme 2018-2020.

Aviation is inherently and increasingly international. Aviation impacts globally the atmosphere, and vice-versa. Aviation emissions to the atmosphere are increasing. In-flight weather hazards are also increasing worldwide. Meanwhile, the demand for aviation keeps growing globally. Commercial Air-Transport (CAT) fatal and non-fatal accidents are continuously decreasing with EASA Member States accident rate much lower than the world-wide one[[EASA, Annual Safety Review, 2016]]. However, in-flight weather hazards, in particular icing conditions, are a contributing factor in accidents and incidents world-wide. In line with ACARE Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda, further advancements in understanding, modelling, detection, avoidance and mitigation of in-flight performance degradation are necessary towards enabling harmonised certification with less flight trials.

  • Contribute to increase passenger safety by fewer accidents and less in-flight events worldwide.
  • Contribute to decrease costs for all parties (e.g. industry, authorities, research & test centres) by improved and internationally accepted certification, standards and means of compliance, covering all types of icing hazards.
  • Contribute to decrease delays in operations thanks to more efficient avoidance of icing hazards and to fewer damages in need of inspection and repair.