The 3rd National Aviation Conference is taking place at the Hamburg Airport today, bringing together top representatives from government, the air traffic industry, the aviation industry and trade unions to discuss the future of aviation in Germany. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz opened the conference attended by 400 participants at the Lufthansa Technik hangar. The motto of the conference is ‘Aviation: innovative and climate-neutral’, which will look at how Germany can shape the transition to climate-friendly flying.
Federal Minister of Transport Dr Volker Wissing:
“Our industry and businesses need a well-functioning and sustainable air traffic system. We want to strengthen German aviation in challenging times and ensure it is well-positioned for the future. It doesn’t benefit anyone if we slow down our domestic aviation industry and let foreign suppliers who are less oriented towards sustainability step up and fill the gap. This is why we support our airlines and airports in becoming pioneers in reducing greenhouse gases. To help them achieve this goal, we are promoting innovation and research, ensuring a level playing field in aviation, and investing in the development of a market for e-fuels and other sustainable aviation fuels. Together, we are working to ensure that flying in Germany becomes increasingly more climate-friendly and efficient and remains competitive at an international scale."
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr Robert Habeck:
“Climate technologies are the key to international success in aviation, and our strength in exports is a decisive lever for boosting global climate action. Today, there is no aeroplane in the world that flies in the air without using components from Germany. To allow this to continue and ensure that Germany enjoys sustained success as a business hub, we are supporting the industry in developing new technologies. Since 2022, we have particularly focussed our funding support on climate action and innovative H2 technologies. I am pleased that some initial successes such as our new flying H2 test lab could be showcased in Hamburg today. Together with all stakeholders, we want to continue along the transformation path we have embarked upon. In this way, we will be able to safeguard the future of our industry, open up new business opportunities and boost value creation and employment in Germany.”
Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr Peter Tschentscher:
“The National Aviation Conference is about the future of aviation, which connects continents, brings people together from around the world and advances technological progress. With 40,000 employees at over 300 companies, Hamburg is the world’s third-largest location for civil aviation. We want to help achieve the goal of climate-neutral flying – because we have highly ambitious climate goals and are convinced that only those who rely on climate-friendly technologies will go on to be successful in the future. The message of the aviation conference in Hamburg is therefore that the future of flying will be climate-neutral and ‘made in Germany’.”
Protecting the climate and strengthening competitiveness
Aviation must become greenhouse-gas neutral by 2045. The Federal Government has committed itself to reaching this goal in the Climate Change Act and has already initiated a number of measures.
For example, the Federal Government is promoting the further development and market ramp-up of green kerosene under the overall funding concept for renewable fuels and is investing in research into emission-free propulsion technologies based on hydrogen and electricity.
At international level, Germany is pushing for high en
vironmental standards in aviation. At EU level, mandatory rising quotas for sustainable renewable fuels, such as advanced biofuels and electricity-based fuels, were adopted just last week with the aim of achieving 70 per cent by 2050. At the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Germany is also campaigning for uniform minimum standards, especially also to ensure a level playing field for domestic aviation companies.
Climate-neutral aviation working group, 100-flights programme for fewer emissions and UpLift
As part of the efforts to reach climate neutrality in aviation in the long and medium term, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action joined forces with industry, associations, civil society and trade unions and set up the Climate Neutral Aviation Working Group in 2022. The working group proposed an initial set of concrete measures at the National Aviation Conference.
These include, for example, a ‘100-flights programme’ to help test climate-optimised flight routes. The flight routes of 100 regularly scheduled flights will be changed to fly around particularly climate-sensitive zones. The effect of this measure will be evaluated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Weather Service.
Other proposals include the retrofitting of existing fleets, increasing the efficiency of traffic control and providing greater planning certainty for investors and fuel producers. In addition, the working group is employing the ALICIA evaluation tool developed by DLR, which will be applied for the first time as a uniform method that allows the proposed measures to be quantified and compared in terms of their climate impact.
DLR’s new flying H2 test lab UpLift will also be presented to the public at the conference. The laboratory is funded by the German government's Federal Aviation Research Programme – LuFo Climate and, based on its open-source approach, is freely available to all companies wishing to quickly test new disruptive technology solutions in aircrafts in real-case settings.
The findings of the working group have been included in a joint statement at the National Aviation Conference. In the statement, all system partners – policymakers, the air traffic industry, the aviation industry and trade unions – commit to the goal of making flying in Germany emission-free.
You can download the declaration here.
You can follow the conference via livestream here.