Aeroweek: a showcase promoting the aerospace industry

From November 30 – December 2, the European Parliament is hosting Aeroweek, an event organized by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Its chairman, Domingo Ureña-Raso, goes over the reasons for this event, the key topic of which will be the environment.

What makes this event so particularly important?
The stakes are high for the aerospace industry in the next ten years : research funding, environment, global competition, air traffic control… Europe holds the answers and it is vital that we demonstrate now the importance of continuing to support this industry. In order to highlight European know-how, we have chosen to invite fifteen major players from the sector including, of course, Safran. The Safran CEO, Jean-Paul Herteman, will also be contributing to our workshops, in the framework of a roundtable on the environmental challenges facing the aerospace industry.

How can the aerospace industry contribute to protecting the environment?

Civil aviation emitted 671 million tonnes of CO2 in 2008, which only represents 2% of the total emissions produced by human activities. We have already succeeded in reducing emission per passenger by 80% since 1960 but there still is a lot to do. Safran had already paved the way with VITAL* in 2005 and MOET** in 2006. Today, it continues to play a decisive role in Clean Sky, chaired by Marc Ventre, Executive Vice-President of the Safran group. This ambitious program mobilizes €1.6 billion on developing more environmentally friendly aircraft.

How important is the aerospace industry for Europe?
The aerospace industry represents some 500,000 highly qualified jobs for a turnover in excess of €100 billion. Three-quarters of its production is exported, which makes this sector one of the most important contributors to Europe's balance of payments. When you take into account the airports, the airline companies and the air traffic control and maintenance services, the aerospace sector represents 2.3% of Europe's GNP, equating to approximately €275 billion and 3.4 million jobs. It is also a highly innovative domain. R&D accounts for 12% of the revenue and 20% of the employees in this industry.

This provides a dual boost for the economy: it ensures the propagation of innovations and pulls along other sectors in its train, hence a strong link between employment in the industry and environmental research. Furthermore, Air transportation greatly contributes to the growth of developing countries by fostering trade and further activities. Aviation definitely is a key element in today's and tomorrow's economy and society.

* VITAL: EnVIronmenTALly

** MOET: More Open Electrical Technologies. www.eurtd.com/moet/