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Industry reaffirms commitment to environment

Feb. 23, 2011, Ottawa - GARDN, the Green Aviation and Research and Development Network, today opened its first Annual Conference under the theme Fly Green - Making our Dreams a Reality at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, marking Canada's National Aviation Day.


February 23, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

The event, the result of the Canadian aerospace industry's determination to protect the environment and to take on a leadership role in research in the area of green aviation, is bringing together more than 200 representatives and researchers from the Canadian and international aerospace community.

"The Canadian industry is mobilized around and committed to developing breakthrough technologies that will reduce the environmental footprint in aviation. GARDN's 1stConference is a tribute to this commitment. Internationally renowned speakers from NASA, ICAO, Clean Sky, and senior experts from leaders in the industry such as Bombardier Aerospace, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Pratt & Whitney and Esterline CMC Electronics will promote debate and explore complex issues in their quest for green aviation," declared Dr. Fassi Kafyeke, director, strategic technology, Bombardier Aerospace.

Created in 2009, GARDN is a network of centres of excellence that brings together industry, university and government partners to lower noise and emissions pollution produced by the aerospace industry, and ultimately to reduce its ecological footprint.

"In creating GARDN, the Government of Canada has recognized the importance of being at the forefront of green aviation R&D with world leaders who are defining the future of the aerospace industry. This initiative is a cornerstone of the Canadian industry's future – a necessary step to continuing down the path of creating value-added quality jobs for Canadians," added Dr. Claude Lajeunesse, chairman of the board of GARDN and president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC).

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Halfway through its four‐year mandate, GARDN has selected and financed 13 projects totalling $27 million, involving 30 partners from industry, schools and research centres.

The selected projects that address one or several of the seven themes of research and development identified by GARDN – namely noise and source emissions reduction, materials and manufacturing processes, airport and aircraft operations, alternative fuels and product lifecycle management – aim to reduce the environmental footprint for the next generation of aircraft, engines and avionics systems that will enter into service between 2015 and 2025.

These research initiatives, as well as the Canadian aerospace industry's commitment towards protecting the environment is further evidenced by its collective goal of reducing its CO2 emissions in half by 2050, while reaching carbon neutral growth by 2020 and improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 % per year between 2009 and 2020. This also allows the Canadian aerospace industry to position itself favourably by maintaining its current position among the 5 most powerful in the world.

"GARDN has allowed unprecedented partnerships between Canadian firms in critical research areas. These increase the research-development capacity of players from our industry and strengthen Canadian know-how in green technologies for the aerospace industry. Their successful completion is definitely key to ensuring an enviable position for Canada amongst the top world players in the area of research aimed at reducing the aerospace industry's environmental footprint," concluded Sylvain Cofsky, Network Manager of GARDN.