Decarbonising aviation through digitalisation

22 July 2022

How can digitalisation accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation industry?

That is the focus of a new report co-authored by ADS, Roland Berger and Dassault Systèmes, which was published and announced at Farnborough International Air Show, with a foreword penned by Prof Rab Scott, who is director of industrial digitalisation at the University of Sheffield AMRC. 

The report says that while aviation has allowed us to travel great distances across the planet, which has become one of the contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions (2.5% of all global CO2 emissions), air travel does come at a cost.

Decarbonisation is therefore now high on the agenda for industry and the key question is about how to accelerate this transition towards sustainable aviation.

The report notes that while there are many possible technological levers today such as green hydrogen or electric aircraft, the industry is now focusing on building the right expertise around the industrialisation of these new technologies and building the right ecosystem of partners to deliver them at scale.

In the foreword, the AMRC's Prof Scott, makes it clear that aviation needs to accelerate its decarbonisation if it is to meets its commitments to be net zero by 2050.

"Beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, the inevitable question the industry needs to answer today is the ‘how’. Digitalisation, that’s how," says Prof Scott.

The joint report highlights:

  • Digitalisation will help accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation industry;
  • The key drivers for this acceleration supported by virtualisation include: Speeding up of the product design process; Prototype testing through simulation; Digitally enabled tracking of offsets and SAF uplift such as via Book-and-Claim systems; Optimised certification; Sustainable End-to-End value chain management from design to decommissioning and recycling; Adoption of digital twins;
  • Digitalisation - in its many forms - will be part of how the aviation industry transforms, regardless of the decarbonisation roadmap it adopts.

 Read the report here.


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