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Aviation and Aerospace

Aviation and Aerospace


Over the past decades the aviation and aerospace industry has faced many up and downs, in response to geopolitics, public health crises, and shifting market conditions and consumer preferences. The years ahead are likely to be even more turbulent as, in addition to the ‘usual’ changes and disruptions, accelerating technological change will be added to the mix.  Industrial transformation across the sector will see the continuous development of new products, processes, and business models. Successful companies will be those that are able to adapt to these changes and leverage new technologies and trends to meet evolving consumer needs and preferences.

This community is a high-level group of peers dedicated to ensuring that this transformation results in long-term financial health and profitability for the sector, rooted in sustainability and broad societal acceptance and support. 


Industry Agenda


The Aviation and Aerospace agenda is set annually by the Governors, comprised of CEOs and Chairpersons from the field, who identify key priority areas for the community to address and design. The Forum is currently focussed on transforming the skies with projects on Sustainable Airports, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), hydrogen, and battery electric propulsion, autonomous aviation systems, including drones, and our Global Future Council on Space.


 1. Airports of Tomorrow – Energy Transition; Net-zero by 2050 through SAF, Hydrogen and Electric Technologies


Airports of Tomorrow (AoT) aims at accelerating the transition to sustainable airports by convening industry leaders from the aviation ecosystem as a proactive pathway to achieve net-zero by 2050 and to provide a coordinated global vision to avoid fragmented approaches.  AoT continues the Forum’s work on the scale up of new technologies including Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), hydrogen, and battery electric propulsion as airports transition from not only transit hubs but to energy hubs as well. Airports of Tomorrow is led by the World Economic Forum and supported by knowledge partners McKinsey & Company, Oliver Wyman, Kearney, and Atkins.


2. AVIATE - Aviation Innovation and Autonomous Technology 


The AVIATE initiative will bring together industry, government and academia to build consensus on around how to advance aviation autonomy in a way that is safe, responsible and benefits the greatest number of people. Specific areas to address include:

• Identifying potential benefits of autonomous systems, possible challenges, and implications for industries, societies and economies 

• Demystifying and helping build public trust in autonomous systems

• Developing a roadmap to autonomy, including the requirements for mixed environments

3. Drones: Certification, Regulation and Unmanned Traffic Management

Our drones work aims to develop regulatory frameworks and management practices that empower society to make better use of airspace. It also seeks to enable safe, clean and inclusive use of drones for delivery, mobility and aerial data capture. It will achieve this by defining a future for civil drones that maximizes the benefits to society and mitigates risk.

• Determining the regulatory environment needed to achieve this future.

• Identifying the air traffic management and other infrastructure required for scaling drone innovation - Please visit the Drone Innovators Network page for more information on this community and work.

• Creating a network of pilot projects to demonstrate best practices

• Development of the Drone Operations Toolkit in 2019

4. Global Future Council on Space


The Global Future Council on Space, a community of leading global multi-stakeholder experts, explores critical challenges for the sector, such as the need for new governance frameworks like Space Traffic Management, a greater understanding of the sector’s socio-economic impact such as environment and climate monitoring as well as the future of space exploration. The work of the GFC on Space will focus on three key areas of action:

• Building Towards a New and Sustainable Space Economy - Uncovering current and future use cases and business models between space and other industries. Collaboration with select countries on strategic frameworks for building and investing in space. 

• Responsible Space Activities: Advancing governance, safety and sustainability in space - Industry community support for safe and sustainable behaviour on orbit. Creation of a first-of-a-kind principles for safe, sustainable and responsible space exploration of Lunar activity and beyond.

• Space for Earth: Maximizing satellite capabilities for the benefit of Earth - Analysis of the economic value of Earth Observation, as well as increasing awareness of its benefits, e.g. for agriculture, wildfire detection.



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