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Improving aircraft safety and security



Improving aircraft safety and security

Background & policy context: 

World aeronautics is entering a new age of aviation – the age of sustainable growth– characterised by the need of more affordable, cleaner, quieter, safer and more secure air travel. European aeronautics is committed to play a prime role in shaping aviation for this new age. Research and technology development is essential in responding to this challenge.

The aeronautics research work programme is set against the two top-level objectives identified in the Strategic Research Agenda and the Vision 2020 Report:

  • to meet society’s needs for a more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly air transport;
  • to win global leadership for European aeronautics, with a competitive supply chain, including small and medium size enterprises.

The overall research work programme focuses on the aircraft vehicle, including its systems and components, for commercial transport (comprising regional and business aircraft as well as rotorcraft).

The work programme is structured in four research areas that contribute to achieving the two top-level objectives. They respond to the major challenges identified in the Strategic Research Agenda for European aeronautics. Research from the sub-programme 'improving aircraft safety and security' responds to the challenge of ensuring that irrespective of the growth of air traffic, air transportation will be even safer than before, and the aircraft secured from hostile actions while in operation.

Strategic Objectives: 

The programme's objectives are:

  1. to reduce the accident rate by 50% and 80% in the short and long-term respectively;
  2. to obtain a drastic improvement in the capability of avoiding or recovering from human errors;
  3. to mitigate the consequences of survivable aircraft accidents;
  4. to significantly reduce the hazards of hostile actions while in flight.
Programme organisation: 

The research areas include:

  • human-machine interface
  • accident prevention
  • accident survivability
  • aircraft security
  • new aircraft concepts and breakthrough technologies
Leading Institutions:

European Commission

Type of funding:
Participating countries: 
Number of projects:
Projects covered: 
  • AERONEWS: Health monitoring of aircraft by nonlinear elastic wave spectroscope
  • AISHA: Aircraft integrated structural health assessment
  • ARTIMA: Aircraft reliability through intelligent materials application
  • ASICBA: Aviation safety improvement using cost benefit analysis
  • FAR-WAKE: Fundamental research on aircraft wake phenomena
  • FIDELIO: Fibre laser development for next generation Lidar onboard detection system
  • FLYSAFE: Airborne integrated systems for safety improvement, flight hazard protection and all weather operations
  • HELISAFE TA: Helicopter occupant safety technology application
  • HILAS: Human integration into the life-cycle of aviation systems
  • ISAAC: Improvement of safety activities on aeronautical complex systems
  • LIGHTNING: Lightning protection for structures and systems on aircraft utilising lightweight composites
  • ONBASS: On-board active safety system
  • SAFEE: Security of aircraft in the future European environment
  • SMIST: Structural monitoring with advanced integrated sensor technologies
  • TATEM: Technologies and techniques for new maintenance concepts
  • USE HAAS: Study on High Altitude Aircrafts and Airships (HAAS) deployed for specific aeronautical and space applications
Project Profiles:
  1. Airborne Integrated Systems for Safety Improvement, Flight Hazard Protection and All Weather Operations
  2. Aircraft Integrated Structural Health Assessment
  3. Aircraft Reliability through Intelligent Materials Application
  4. Aviation Safety Improvement using Cost Benefit Analysis
  5. Fibre Laser Development for Next Generation LIDAR Onboard Detection System
  6. Fundamental Research on Aircraft Wake Phenomena
  7. Health Monitoring of Aircraft by Nonlinear Elastic Wave Spectroscopy
  8. Helicopter Occupant Safety Technology Application
  9. Human Integration into the Life-cycle of Aviation Systems
  10. Onboard Active Safety System
  11. Security of Aircraft in the Future European Environment
  12. Structural Monitoring with advanced Integrated Sensor Technologies
  13. Study on High Altitude Aircrafts (HAAS) and Airships, Deployed for Specific Aeronautical and Space Applications
  14. Technologies and Techniques for New Maintenance Concepts
Contact Email: 
European Commission
FP6 Aeronautics Info Desk, Directorate-General for Research (DG Research), SDMA 21
Contact country:
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