Leading low-emission aircraft developers have praised the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) for its efforts to speed the near-term adoption of green propulsion technologies.

The comments come in the wake of a meeting of ERA’s Industry Affairs and Environment and Social Group in Brussels earlier this week which discussed what needs to happen to accelerate the roll-out of aircraft with low- or zero-emission powertrains.


Source: Heart Aerospace

Heart Aerospace is developing the hybrid-electric ES-30 for service entry in 2028

In addition to airline representatives, the meeting was attended by a swathe of aircraft developers, including ATR, Aura Aero, Deutsche Aircraft, Embraer, Heart Aerospace, VoltAero and ZeroAvia, among others.

ERA notes that the adoption of hydrogen, electric or hybrid propulsion systems will “happen first in the regional sector” and argues it is vital their uptake is “nurtured and supported through policy and funding”.

The group will now meet on a regular basis to lay out the best way forward. “A key aim will be to provide renewed political momentum into the debate on new technology,” states ERA.

Simon McNamara, director of government and industry affairs at Sweden’s Heart Aerospace – and a former ERA director general – says there is “limited momentum politically” to support new propulsion technologies.

“That, we think, needs to change as we approach a new cycle of European policymaking in 2024,” he says.

“ERA gathering senior leaders from that many new technology OEMs in one place is a real statement of intent to the European Commission and others that they need to take technology seriously.”

He says the industry must now maintain the meeting’s momentum and come up with “concrete proposals on policy and financing”.

Joao Pedro Taborda, vice-president government affairs, Europe at Embraer highlights ERA’s ability to “to gather and access all the main stakeholders” of the European aviation ecosystem.

“For Embraer, this ensures a realistic discussion on meeting the sustainability challenges the industry faces, channelling our combined efforts to address key priorities such as the robust connectivity of the European regions and contributing with our experience as an aircraft OEM to address the most appropriate technologies.”

Montserrat Barriga, ERA director general, states: “This important gathering of industry technology leaders, both new and established OEMs, amplifies the message that regional air transport is leading the decarbonisation race for testing and selecting green solutions.”