The European Union's competitiveness council has given the go-ahead for the aeronautical Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, along with three other non-aerospace JTIs.
The JTI is a public-private partnership arrangement under the EU's new Seventh Framework research programme and is expected to begin in early 2008. Clean Sky, with a seven-year budget of €1.6 billion ($2.36 billion), is to be carried out in conjunction with the SESAR Single European Sky air traffic management research programme. SESAR has a budget of €2.1 billion from now to 2020 to modernise Europe's air traffic management system.
Clean Sky's targets are emissions reductions of up to 40% in carbon dioxide and 40% in nitrogen oxides and a 20dB reduction in noise levels around airports. Within Clean Sky are projects called Systems for Green Operation, Green Engines, Green Rotorcraft, Eco-design Smart Wing Aircraft and Regional Air Transport. All these are expected to involve demonstrator vehicles.
"We very much hope that the European Parliament will follow the European Council in reaching agreement on these proposals when it considers them in early December, so that we can have final approval before the end of the year," say the European Commissioner.
The EC in May and June adopted the proposals to launch these Europe-wide research partnerships. If the European Parliament approves the JTIs in December, the council can give them the final green light.