The Air Cargo technology roadmap was about the future role of air freight and the definition of a technology roadmap for future cargo aircraft responding to end user requirements and environmental needs. In order to improve seamless flow of goods, inter-modality and co-modality approaches were considered within the SESAR operational concept.
The main issues of the CARGO project were:
- Analysis of current situations (at the commencement of the project) versus the demand with the involvement of the stakeholders in Europe amongst all actors (manufacturers, research establishments, regulators, airspace users, infrastructure providers, airport managers);
- Expected future bottlenecks/challenges in air freight transport and the identification of the corresponding requirements. The requirements were to identify the technology needs and regulatory issues to be addressed;
- Synopsis and evaluation of possible improvements related to future business models;
- Definition of a technology roadmap which was to fill the technology/regulatory/operative gaps in order to fulfil the requirements considering the current capabilities;
- Besides the core activities an effort was dedicated to disseminating the results.
The project investigated what new challenges and opportunities existed for new air cargo operations in the future, responding to societal challenges and the concept of seamless multi modal transport chains.
Based on business models for such new types of air cargo operations, the need for novel dedicated air cargo planes was derived and the technologies that were needed to create these novel airplanes were to be identified in a roadmap. This was a totally new approach within the Frame Work Programme. Whilst identifying novel technologies, only those specific to air cargo operations were shown in the roadmap, assuming that generic technologies in aviation took place. The roadmap identified current and planned research and missing elements, enabling a new generation of air cargo aircraft to be realised.
In the course of the project the following issues were studied:
- the mapping of the framework conditions for air cargo operations in Europe,
- conclusion of consequences for airport availability,
- analysis of development of trucking activities,
- analysis of impact of airfreight on passenger airline traffic flow and of other impacts such as SESAR,
- summary of current market estimates by demand forecasting for air cargo and their rationale,
- assessment of air cargo market developments,
- investment in cargo aircraft segmentation and forecast air cargo operations and design characteristics,
- preparation of forecast of demand for air cargo.
The prepared study showed the complexity of the air freight transport system and the relationships between the various system elements. Due to its specific characteristics, primarily high-value and/or urgent goods were transported by air. The development of air freight transport and economic performance on regional and global levels were closely related. The overall economic development could therefore be seen as the most important influencing factor for the medium to long-term development of the air freight market.
The growing intensity of the global division of labour, the commercial interrelationships in the procurement, production and distribution sectors, the introduction of new logistics concepts to reduce warehousing costs and the changes in goods structures with the trend towards small, higher-value consignments contributed to the growing volumes of air freight in international trade. Besides, the tendency towards increasing oil and kerosene prices has influenced the supply and demand side of the air freight sector, i.e. cost structures, necessity of airline fleet modernisations.
In addition, infrastructure bottlenecks and restrictions at airports caused by a lack of slots or night-flight bans, for example, can lead to freight flights being transferred to secondary airports. More recent political issues such as climate change and the threat of international terrorism have also had an impact on air freight transport. The inclusion of air transport in the European emissions trading scheme as of 2012 and the increasing security requirements in the air freight transport chain were the two most specifically notable points in this context.
An efficient and integrated mobility system:
- A Single European Transport Area
- Service quality and reliability