Zingg highlights urgent need for sustainable aviation research and development funding

The importance of investment in green technologies is widely recognized, as is the importance of reducing the impact of civil aviation on climate change, but recently these two ideas have not been connected in Canada.

The federally supported Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), which was funded from 2009-2021, has not yet been replaced with anything comparable, despite the increasing urgency of the issue. Valuable capabilities in industry and universities developed through GARDN projects are being refocused elsewhere. Further investment toward the development of technologies that reduce the impact of aviation on climate change is urgently needed in industry, universities, and the National Research Council (NRC).

To ensure the sustainability of the aviation sector, new fuels, such as biofuels and hydrogen, are needed to replace fossil fuels, and the efficiency of aircraft and engines must be improved to reduce the energy needed and to mitigate the cost increases associated with the new fuels. Many promising technologies exist with the potential to improve energy efficiency substantially, including new aircraft configurations such as strut-braced wing and blended wing-body aircraft as well as boundary-layer-ingesting engines, to name a few. A great deal of research and development (R&D) is needed to bring such technologies and new fuels to a level suitable for commercial application, and Canada has the expertise needed to be a world leader in this space if an adequate commitment is made to sustained funding.

Full article: Investment in green technologies must include aerospace