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Partnership for Air Transportation Noise & Emission Reduction

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PARTNER, ECATS agreement aligns global aviation environmental research

SEPTEMBER 2006: In a major step in aligning global aviation environmental research, PARTNER has signed an agreement with Europe’s Environmentally Compatible Air Transport System that will enhance collaboration between PARTNER and key European research establishments. The landmark "statement of common understanding" will provide policymakers in the United States and Europe with research-substantiated tools to formulate major policies related to aviation and the environment.

Research collaboration between the groups will focus on:

PARTNER and ECATS research is expected to begin with an examination of particulate matter effects on air quality and health. Other initial collaborations will include research on contrail impacts; methods for quantifying the environmental impacts of aviation for policy analyses; and education, informational database, and communications activities. The latter work may include personnel exchanges.

PARTNER Director Professor Ian A. Waitz of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Aeronautics and Astronautics Department said, “We will all benefit from this important collaboration, which has been building informally for more than a year.”

Dr. Lourdes Maurice, the FAA's chief scientist for the environment and PARTNER program manager, said, "Signing the agreement with ECATS is a significant accomplishment. It means that the scientific community in Europe and the U.S. have a common base from which to inform our policy makers. There will, of course, continue to be different views, but the bases for action will be greatly harmonized."

The two organizations are preparing a management strategy to increase awareness of each other’s work, arrange representation on advisory boards, and schedule reviews of collaborative studies.

PARTNER and ECATS representatives at the signing of the organizations' joint research agreement were (front, left) Prof. Ian Waitz, PARTNER Director; Dr. Klaus Gierens, Deutsche Zentrum für Luft and ECATS; (rear, from l.) Dr. Mohan L. Gupta, FAA and PARTNER; Dr. Lourdes Maurice, FAA PARTNER Program Manager; Professor David S. Lee, Manchester Metropolitan University, ECATS; and Dr. Terrence R. Thompson, Metron Aviation and PARTNER.

ECATS signing

Sponsored by the European Commission, ECATS deals specifically with aviation emissions. It comprises leading research establishments and universities with demonstrated expertise in aeronautical and environmental issues. Its research has focused on engine technology, alternative fuels, air quality, green flight/scenarios, communication, and education. Its goals are to create a European virtual institute for research of environmental compatible air transport, to develop and maintain durable means for cooperation and communication within Europe and to strengthen Europe’s influence in the international community.

A PARTNER member university or designated collaborator will work with an ECATS network member on each project. Principal contacts are PARTNER Director Waitz and ECATS Coordinator Dr. Sigrun Matthes of the DLR-Institut fuer Physik der Atmosphaere, Germany.

PARTNER has invited ECATS to make a presentation at a future Advisory Board meeting.

PARTNER is exploring relationships with other European organizations including EUROCONTROL, the 37-state civil and military organization that is developing a seamless, pan-European air traffic management system; and the Netherlands National Aerospace Laboratory, a world leader in aircraft noise research. PARTNER also plans to extend its relationships to the Asia Pacific region.

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