Climate-neutral flying

Focus on sustainable technologies at ILA 2024


The global aviation industry is increasingly working on solutions to make flying climate-neutral. We summarize for you the strategies and technologies behind this and why the future of aviation is within reach at ILA Berlin 2024.

Aviation is an impressive combination of technology and innovation, and today more than ever it enables us to grow together as a global society. At the same time, like many other industries, it is playing a growing role in the fight against climate change. To ensure that flying continues to connect people, companies and scientists around the world are working to minimize the impact of aviation on the environment and people. The long-term goal is to make flying carbon neutral. 
How this can be achieved in practice is one of the central themes of ILA Berlin 2024. The International Aerospace Exhibition in the heart of Europe serves as a platform for the exchange of innovative ideas as well as new processes to make flying more sustainable in the future. This is where international players from business and science bring carbon-neutral flying within reach.  
What is carbon-neutral flying? 
Carbon-neutral flying takes into account a wide range of environmental aspects in order to minimize the overall ecological footprint of air transport and reduce its environmental impact. Through a combination of measures, such as the use of efficient propulsion systems and alternative fuels, as well as the support of projects that reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, aviation is expected to become more environmentally friendly in the future. 
Carbon-neutral flying is primarily, but not exclusively, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovative propulsion technologies. Engine technology for better noise protection, CO2 offsetting and improved air quality are also part of the efforts to reconcile aviation and sustainability. CO2 offsetting, in particular, is a widely used method of involving air travelers in sustainability efforts: In this case, anyone who books a flight can offset the environmental impact of their flight with the provider by investing in compensation programs and environmental organizations.

More sustainable aviation needs the right drive  
But even before offsetting emissions, aviation needs to keep them as low as possible from the outset. Depending on the application profile - for example, range or number of passengers - there are different technological approaches. On the path to greater climate neutrality, there are two main areas of focus: alternative propulsion technologies and fuel efficiency. Numerous companies and start-ups around the world are already doing pioneering work in these areas - and their innovations will be on display at ILA Berlin 2024. In addition to solutions for alternative propulsion systems such as hydrogen and fuel cell propulsion, the aviation industry will also be presenting the latest progress in the development of non-fossil fuels for long-haul aircraft. 
Electrifying Aviation 
From the cabin to the short-haul aircraft, the electrification of propulsion systems plays a key role in the sustainable expansion of regional and local air traffic. Instead of internal combustion engines, electric motors are being developed that can be powered either by batteries or fuel cells. Ideally, such aircraft can guarantee climate neutrality in flight operations. One of the prerequisites for this is the availability of renewable energy.

The fuel of the future: sustainable aviation fuels 
Kerosene has been the main fuel used to power aircraft, but in the future, it could be replaced by more sustainable alternatives. The world is working on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), which are made from non-fossil resources.   
The idea is not new. Since the 2000s, work has been underway on a new generation of fuels that reduce the aviation industry's environmental footprint but can be used with existing infrastructure and engine technologies. Unlike kerosene, SAF can be derived from a variety of sources, including vegetable oils, agricultural waste, algae and recycled hydrocarbons. There are also processes for the production of synthetic SAF based on renewable energy sources. Although SAFs are not yet produced on an industrial scale, they are expected to be used on a large scale in the coming decades. 
Fuel consumption: the shape matters 
Improving fuel efficiency is just as important. At the ILA Berlin, aircraft manufacturers will be presenting the latest advances in this area: lighter materials, aerodynamic improvements and advanced engines that help to reduce aircraft fuel consumption and thus emissions. This also includes design approaches - for example in the design of wings - which break with previous conventions and thus enable more efficient consumption. 
ILA Berlin 2024: Highlights for private and trade visitors 
Anyone who wants to see the future of aviation with their own eyes will have the opportunity to do so at ILA Berlin. As one of the most important international aerospace trade shows, it brings together all the relevant players from the Aviation, Science and Political Industries. At the same time, it brings technological innovations for climate-neutral flying within the grasp of visitors - in the truest sense of the word. Four exhibition halls and an appealing outdoor area will feature hands-on materials and the opportunity to interact with newly developed aircraft and flight systems.  In the Static Display Area, visitors can not only see state-of-the-art passenger aircraft up close but also climb aboard. In addition, selected aircraft can be seen in action in various flight demonstrations.  
Visitors to the ILA Space Pavilion can immerse themselves in Europe's largest space exhibition and experience how space travel contributes to improving life on Earth. In addition, companies and experts from the aerospace industry will provide insights into the various stages of research and development and invite visitors to participate in discussions.  
Join us in a new era of aviation - at ILA Berlin 2024!