Press release: THE NETHERLANDS AEROSPACE INDUSTRY AND AIRBUS SIGN AGREEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AVIATION RESEARCH

Delft, 25 February 2021

The Netherlands Aerospace industry, represented by Mr. Lex Besselink, Chairman of the National Association for the Aerospace Industry NAG, and Airbus SAS, represented by Mrs. Grazia Vittadini, Airbus Chief Technology Officer, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, 25 February 2021. The signing of the MoU is an important step towards the future of sustainable aviation. The signing was witnessed by the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Mrs. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, and the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mrs. Mona Keijzer, who both emphasized the importance of the agreement and the role of the Dutch industry in the realization of sustainable aircraft. In attendance were also the French Minister Delegate Mr. Jean-Baptiste Djebbari and the German Commissioner for the Digital Industry and Start-ups and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy Mr. Thomas Jarzombek. The CEO of Schiphol, Mr. Dick Benschop, emphasized the support of the complete Netherlands aviation sector; the infrastructure, the operators and industry.

The purpose of the MoU between NAG and Airbus is to establish a long-term strategic relationship in the field of sustainable aviation research and innovation, for both academic and industrial parties. The dedication of Airbus to connect with the innovative and robust Dutch industry and knowledge centres is welcomed to enable a sound return of aerospace after the pandemic. “We look forward to reaching the goals set together and realising a healthy future business for both Airbus and the NAG members”, says Lex Besselink, Chairman of the Netherlands Aerospace Group.

The Netherlands aviation sector, as represented by the parties united in the Dutch Sustainable Aviation Roundtable in which both the NAG and Airbus participate, committed to ambitious CO2 reduction targets towards achieving zero emission aviation in 2070, including:

  • reaching CO2 emission levels of 2005 in the year 2030, and 50% less in 2050;
  • zero emission ground-based operations in 2030;
  • use of minimum 14% blended SAF in 2030;
  • replacement of all fossil kerosene by sustainable alternatives by 2050;
  • and aiming to be a frontrunner in aviation electrification.

The NAG members are committed to these agreements and they aim their Research and Innovation programme to fulfil these targets. Airbus welcomes the Netherlands’ ambitious government policy towards sustainable aviation which will contribute greatly to our industry-wide decarbonisation targets. “The Netherlands’ rich talent pool, capabilities and experience has always made it an attractive home base for Airbus”, said Grazia Vittadini, Airbus Chief Technology Officer. “We look forward to accelerating research and working towards disruptive technologies to achieve a sustainable future together.”

An important link in this MoU is the Dutch Government. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure and Water Management are closely involved in this cooperation.
“It is my mission to successfully position Dutch tech companies and our manufacturing industry”, said Mona Keijzer, State Secretary of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands. “After all, we want to remain an innovation leader. International cooperation creates jobs and income in the Netherlands. For example, when our entrepreneurs can develop and produce composites for aircraft. The signing of this MoU today means that we can keep engaging in this area. And this is important, so that when the aerospace industry climbs out of this corona crisis, it can continue to innovate and find sustainable solutions.”

Breakthroughs are needed for aviation to become more quiet and green. “To realise CO2 reduction, focussing on sustainable aviation fuels and technological innovation, including novel aircraft designs and new types of propulsion is important”, says Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management. “The first steps have been taken, such as the world’s first passenger flight with a blend of 500 liters of synthetic kerosene. Let’s inspire each other and enter a new era for aviation together”.

Missed the ceremony? Click here to watch.

For more information, contact:
Netherlands Aerospace Group
Frank Jansen, managing director
frank.jansen@nag.aero