GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Aeronautics and Air Transportation: Beyond Vision 2020 (Towards 2050)


Aviation has dramatically transformed society over the past 100 years. The economic and social benefits throughout the world have been immense in “shrinking the planet” with the efficient and fast transportation of people and goods. The growth of air traffic over the past 50 years has been spectacular, and will continue in the future, particularly in the growing markets of the Far East. The European Air Transport sector made up of civil Aeronautics and Air Transport generates a turnover in excess of Euro 94 billion and represents a pinnacle of manufacturing which employs almost half a million highly skilled people directly and spinning-out technology to other sectors.

About 2.6 million indirect jobs can be attributed to air transport related activities and a contribution of around Euro 240 billion to gross domestic product. The Aeronautics and the Air Transport sector is a key strategic economic domain for Europe. A European Vision for Aeronautics and Air Transport in 2020 was launched by Commissioner Busquin in 2000. This established a vision to meet the needs of society, while maintaining European global leadership in aeronautics. This vision led to the formation of ACARE (the Advisory council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) to define a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and make the vision a reality. The SRA provides strategic goals and Research & Technology (R&T) roadmaps for proposed solutions to achieve the objectives outlined in Vision 2020.

ACARE recommends that for Europe to remain at the heart of the global aviation sector, policymakers must build on the substantial results the sector has achieved since setting the 2020 Vision. In view of the changing landscape of challenges facing Air Transport since 2000 and with the prospect of new and greater challenges emerging in future, the formulation of a timely new
vision beyond 2020 for the horizon towards 2050 is essential. The need for new knowledge and solutions has never been greater. Hence, a new European vision is vital if Europe is to play its part in helping to meet the needs of society and in order for Europe’s
Air Transport sector to maintain its lead in Aeronautics. A new vision ‘Towards 2050’ is essential and must be established at the highest level within Europe to set a strategic direction for European Aeronautics and Air Transport on the revised horizon.