EnviroTREC, was formed to support the development and growth of the Glacier engine testing facility in Thompson, Manitoba. Providing more than ten years of successful icing certification testing for new engine models, Glacier has demonstrated its value year after year. These new engine models continue to advance the state of the art for gas turbine engines as they achieve greater operating efficiencies.
Last year I was given the opportunity to join EnviroTREC as its new Executive Director and given a mandate to identify a strategic direction for the organization. Following an environmental scan, it was clear to me that aviation is at the dawn of a radical transformation. As Climate Change gains attention around the world, every sector is seeking to become better stewards of the resources it uses. Aviation is no less one of these sectors and is at the dawn of a propulsion disruption.
Since the beginning of flight, aviation was undergone continual technological advancement resulting in greater capabilities, improved safety and better efficiencies. While gas turbine engines were a marked improvement over the original reciprocating engines, one thing that remained common was a reliance on petroleum fuels. While enhancements have and will continue to be achieved through technological advancements like high-bypass fans and exotic materials, these technologies continue to rely on hydrocarbons as their source of energy.
In October, 2021, seven aircraft and engine Chief Technology Officers reaffirmed a joint “call to action to deliver sustainable aviation plans”. Highlighted in the original 2019 call to action are the following core technology areas:
- “Advancing the state-of-the-art in aircraft and engine design and technology
- Supporting increased availability and adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and investigating hydrogen as a fuel of the future
- Continuing to develop novel technologies that will eventually enable net-zero carbon aviation while maintaining the safety and quality standards of the industry.”
Over that last five years, these companies have invested over $75B in research and development and are calling on the policy makers and the broader aviation community to participate in achieving a radical transformation to Green Aviation.
With this in mind, EnviroTREC will be making Green Aviation a key element of its strategic goals. In the coming months and years, we will endeavor to play our part through research and education. Periodically we will provide updates to our website highlighting the advancement and opportunities taking place in the aerospace community.