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NRC launches Canadian environmental technology road map
Article Type: News and views From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 81, Issue 6
The National Research Council Canada (NRC) recently announced the official launch of the Canadian Environmental Technology Road Map, which identifies the critical pre-competitive enabling technologies and infrastructure, the Canadian aerospace industry requires to meet environmental and sustainability requirements over the next 10-15 years. The year-long process to create the road map was led by industry and supported by NRC. Industry participants in the road map process include Bombardier Aerospace, Air Canada, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce Canada, Messier-Dowty and Standard Aero.
The technologies identified by the road map process fall into four main categories, including: engine emissions, aircraft noise, aircraft fuel, and lifecycle impact, including the impact of manufacturing, maintenance repair, overhaul, and disposal. These technologies encompass the areas in which research and development is required for the aerospace industry to meet its environmental needs. The categories are also broad enough to allow flexibility in the road map, which will be updated as priorities and research directions change.
This technology planning exercise is part of a larger movement in the aerospace industry in Canada and around the world. Last year, international aviation industry leaders signed an environmental declaration at the Third Aviation and Environmental Summit, pledging their support for carbon neutral growth and an environmentally sustainable industry. Both the European Union and the USA have initiated a variety of programs concerned with aviation and environment. In Canada, industry leaders and NRC committed to the technology road map process. The Government of Canada also created the Green Aviation Research and Development Network, which brings together government, academic and industrial partners for the development of aviation environmental technologies.
“The need for greener aerospace technology is both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry and for Canada,” says NRC President Dr Pierre Coulombe. “Success in this common direction has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of aerospace, while ensuring the long-term viability of a critically important Canadian industry.”
For over 50 years, NRC has helped Canada adapt to the changing needs of the aerospace industry and gain world leadership in niche markets, such as regional and commuter aircraft, civilian helicopters, and small gas turbine engines. To continue this tradition, assist the Canadian aerospace industry and adapt to its environmental challenges, NRC is currently pursuing aerospace research and technology development activities that address the need for cleaner fuels, lighter materials and engines with optimal fuel efficiency.