Saab contributes to greener air traffic

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 4 July 2008



(2008), "Saab contributes to greener air traffic", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Saab contributes to greener air traffic

Article Type: Mini features From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 4

Saab has a key position in Clean Sky, the European collaboration for more environmentally friendly aviation. Saab will develop the next generation of aircraft wing and avionics systems for large civil aircraft.

Clean Sky has the objective of reducing 50 per cent of CO2 emissions, 80 per cent of NOx emissions and 50 per cent of external noise, by the year 2020. Saab is involved in the project, developing new technologies to reach these goals.

“Clean Sky is a program with great strategic importance for the future of civil aviation, both within and outside Europe. We are very proud that Saab is playing a vital part in the initiative, but also confident that we can contribute in a positive way,” said Åke Svensson, President and CEO of Saab when the project was launched.

Image:Åke Svensson, President and CEO of Saab, and also Chairman of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, was one of the speakers when the Clean Sky project was launched recently in Brussels.

A number of sub-areas, or Integrated Technology Demonstrator’s (ITD’s), are proposed within the framework of the program. Saab, together with Airbus, will develop new wing configurations within the sub-area of Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA). Configurations adjusted for the new avionics systems and with a more efficient aerodynamic design.

This is intended to be the basis for the next generation wing for use in large civil aircraft. Saab aerostructures will participate in SFWA and the focus will be on the leading edge of the wing. The ITD SFWA is lead by Airbus together with Saab.

Facts about the Clean Sky program

Clean Sky is a Joint Technology Initiative, a new collaborative form within the EU where organisations, authorities and industry have divided responsibilities for strategically important projects of significant size.

The project is planned to run between 2008 and 2014 and will receive a total budget of €1.6 billion, of which industry and the EU will provide half each.

The European aviation companies behind Clean Sky, in addition to Saab, are Airbus, Dassault, Alenia, Eurocopter, AgustaWestland, Thales, Liebherr, Rolls-Royce, Safran, EADS CASA and Fraunhofer Inst.

SAS Group’s environmental strategy

The SAS Group has also set itself an environmental target which they believe will reduce its total carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 compared with 2007. The new environmental target assumes passenger growth of 4 per cent per year and for each producing unit the target entails halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. Two of the methods of achieving this reduction are by implementing energy enhancements and mixing jet fuel with renewable sources.

In the long-term, the SAS Group aims to attain the International Air Transport Association’s vision of zero emissions of environmentally harmful greenhouse gases by 2050.

The strategic environmental target requires a large number of short- and long-term activities. Many have already been commenced in the aviation industry and can be summarised in the following four areas:

  1. 1.

    technological developments (alternative fuels, the next generation of aircraft with improved aerodynamics and more efficient engines);

  2. 2.

    infrastructure (single European Sky and Green Approaches);

  3. 3.

    operational measures (reduced fuel consumption in the daily operations); and

  4. 4.

    economic means of control (EU Emissions Trading Scheme).

In addition to reducing total carbon dioxide emissions, prior to 2011, the SAS Group’s various airlines and ground-handing operations shall operate only environmentally friendly cars.

SAS Group states that its ambition is to be considered to be the most environmentally conscious carriers in Europe. The entire environmental strategy can be read in SAS’s Annual Report and Sustainability Report at

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