Event

Sustainable Skies Conference: Contrails in Focus

In collaboration with
CANSO
Sustainable Skies Conference 2023

The global push for climate neutrality and sustainability has put the spotlight on the aviation industry's impact on non-CO2 emissions, with contrails and associated cirrus clouds coming under scrutiny.

To explore this key environmental issue, CANSO & EUROCONTROL were pleased to host the Sustainable Skies Conference: Contrails in Focus, which took place at EUROCONTROL's Brussels headquarters on 7-8 November 2023.

The overall goal of the event was to bring together scientists, researchers, the aviation industry, policy makers and other stakeholders to improve the understanding of the formation and characteristics of contrails and contrail-induced cirrus clouds, together with their impact on climate – and to explore potential mitigation measures to minimise their occurrence.

Over the course of the two days, world-leading experts:

  • took stock of the current state of knowledge on the topic;
  • explored the state-of-the-art methods for detecting and monitoring contrails and cirrus clouds;
  • looked at current methods and technologies for predicting the formation of contrails and cirrus clouds and estimating their impact on the climate (and the interdependencies with CO2); and
  • discussed possible ways of minimising contrail formation and the challenges of operationalising mitigation measures at scale.

The first day focussed on presenting the latest scientific insights and ongoing research on contrails, while the second day featured panel debates and more strategic discussions.

Watch

Day 1

Day 2

Photos from the event

Sustainable Skies Conference 2023

 

 

Download the presentations

Session 1: What are contrails?

Matthieu Plu & Klaus Gierens Météo-France & DLR

Session 2: Contrails versus CO₂. Contrails Avoidance - Challenges

Keith P Shine & David S Lee University of Reading & Manchester Metropolitan University

Session 2: Contrails versus CO₂. CO₂ equivalence metrics and contrail avoidance

Nicolas Bellouin University of Reading & Sorbonne University

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. Detecting contrails with deep learning in GOES-16 ABI

Kevin McCloskey Google

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. Observational contrail avoidance.

Professor Steven Barret MIT

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. A Linear Contrail Detection, Tracking and Matching Algorithm

Rémi Chevallier Airbus

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. Contrail Research: The Critical Role of Observational Data & AI

Gabriel Jarry & Philippe Very EUROCONTROL

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. Potential and limitations of satellite remote sensing for contrail avoidance

Luca Bugliaro DLR

Session 3: Detection and monitoring of contrails. Robust and Trustworthy AI for Green Aviation

Teodora Petrisor & Frédéric Barbaresco Thales

Session 4: Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact. Prediction of contrails formation & Observation process

Valentin Curat & Laure Péchaud Météo France & Air France

Session 4: Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact. Forecast of Potential Persistent Contrails

Björn Beckmann DWD and WMO

Session 4: Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact. Climate Met Service for climate-optimized trajectory planning

Simone Dietmüller DLR

Session 4: Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact. Global contrail climate effects from 2019 to 2021

Marc Stettler Imperial College London

Session 4: Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact. Machine-learned contrail forecasting

Kevin McCloskey Google

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. Contrails: R&D roadmap

Olivia Nunez Sesar 3 Joint Undertaking

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. CONCERTO

David Antonello THALES

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. CICONIA

Philippe Masson Airbus

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. AEROPLANE

Carlo Abate Deep Blue

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. E-CONTRAIL Project

Manuel Soler Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. FlyATM4E and D-KULT Project

Sigrun Matthes DLR

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. Non-CO₂ emissions characterisation: ECLIF3 and VOLCAN in-flight measurement campaigns overview

Alexis Manneville Airbus

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. CREATE Project

Angelo Riccio Parthenope University of Naples

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. Better contrail mitigation through flight trajectory optimization (BeCoM)

Feijia Yin TU Delft

Session 5: Contrails Research Roadmap. Developing an Implementation Roadmap for Contrail Mitigation

Andrew Chen & Joey Cathcart RMI

Session 7: Non-CO₂ monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV)

Dimitar Nikov & Vincent de Haes European Commission & To70

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. MUAC Contrails Prevention project

Ilona Sitova, Rüdiger Ehrmanntraut EUROCONTROL MUAC

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Traffic Flow Optimization

Reynir Sigurdsson & David Antonello Borealis & Thales

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Contrail avoidance in practice - Approach & preliminary feasibility

Marc Shapiro Breakthrough Energy

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Fast Track to Sustainable Aviation: Implementation of contrail avoidance in commercial flight planning

Alejandra Martin-Frias Flightkeys GmbH

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Contrail Mitigation in Flight Planning

Benedikt Annweiler Lufthansa Systems GmbH

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Climate optimised flight planning

Adam Durant SATAVIA

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Exploring Strategies for minimising persistent warming contrails

Siân Andrews & Brice Bergantz NATS & Airbus

Session 9: Operational mitigating strategies. Boeing's approach

Emily Dallara Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Session 10: Other mitigation strategies. Potential for contrail mitigation by changing engine particle emissions

Marc Stettler Imperial College London

Session 10: Other mitigation strategies. The role of SAF and other fuel-related measures for contrails mitigation

Astrid Sonneveld Neste

Session 10: Other mitigation strategies. Technical levers for contrails reduction

Nicolas Jeuland Safran

Session 10: Other mitigation strategies. The influence of engine design parameters on climate

Arvind Gangoli Rao TU Delft

Session 12: European non-CO₂ research programme. Strengthening and coordinating support on non-CO₂ impact assessments

Stephen Arrowsmith EASA

Session 12: European non-CO₂ research programme. Aviation non-CO₂ emissions: 25 years of EU-funded activities and what’s next for research and policy?

Michael Kyriakopoulos European Commission

Outcome

Following the Conference, EUROCONTROL and CANSO, together with the conference speakers, created a document outlining the latest advancements in contrail science and mitigation.

Contrails

Agenda

You can see the agenda below, or download it as a PDF.

Time Session Speakers
08:30 - 10:00 Registration & welcome coffee
10:00 - 10:15 Welcome & opening remarks
  • Marylin Bastin, Head of the Aviation Sustainability Unit, EUROCONTROL
  • Philippe Merlo, Director European Green Sky Directorate, EUROCONTROL
  • Michelle Bishop, Director Programmes, CANSO
10:15 - 10:55 What are contrails?
Speakers will explain what contrails and contrail-induced cirrus clouds are, how and under which meteorological conditions they form, their physical properties and how they impact climate change.
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Matthieu Plu, Deputy Head of Numerical Weather Prediction Research, Météo France
  • Klaus Gierens, Researcher, Earth System Modelling, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR
  • Judith Rosenow, Postdoctoral Researcher Group Leader, Technical University of Dresden (remote)
10:55 - 11:35 Contrails versus CO2
This session will explore the critical aspects of contrail avoidance, highlighting the importance of making informed trade-offs between CO2 emissions and the impact of contrails on the climate.
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Keith Shine, Regius Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science, University of Reading (remote) & David S. Lee, Professor, Atmospheric Science, Manchester Metropolitan University (remote)
  • Nicolas Bellouin, Professor, University of Reading & Chair in Aviation and Climate, Sorbonne University
11:35 - 12:35 Detection and monitoring of contrails  (Part 1)
In this session our speakers will address the technical challenges and state-of-the-art methods for detecting and monitoring contrails, focusing on remote-sensing techniques (satellite, ground observation); in situ measurements (onboard, meteorological); and computer vision and deep learning techniques.
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Kevin McCloskey, Software Engineer, Google
  • Steven Barrett, Professor and Interim Department Head, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Rémi Chevallier, PhD Student, Airlines Sciences, Airbus
12:35 - 13:35 Lunch break and tour of stands in the lobby
13:35 - 14:35 Detection and monitoring of contrails (Part 2)
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Philippe Very & Gabriel Jarry, Aviation Sustainability Experts, EUROCONTROL
  • Luca Bugliaro, Cloud Physics Researcher, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR
  • Teodora Petrisor, AI Scientist & Frédéric Barbaresco, Senior Expert & Sensing Algorithms Segment Leader, THALES
14:35 - 15:30

Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact (Part 1)
In this session speakers will explore current methods and technologies for predicting the formation of contrails and estimating their impact on the climate.

  • Valentin Curat, Meteorological Engineer, Météo France & Laure Péchaud, B787 First officer & Pilot Expert, Air France
  • Björn Beckmann, Senior Advisory Aviation Customer Service, German National Meteorological Service (DWD) and Expert Team on Weather and Climate Science for Aviation Applications (WMO) (remote)
  • Simone Dietmüller, Climate Scientist, Earth System Modelling Department, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR (remote)
15:30 - 16:10 Coffee break and tour of stands
16:10 - 16:50 Prediction of contrails formation and climate impact (Part 2)
Followed by a Q&A session for Part 1 & 2 speakers.
  • Marc Stettler, Reader in Transport and the Environment, Imperial College
  • Kevin McCloskey, Software Engineer, Google
16:50 - 18:20 Contrails Research Roadmap
This session will provide an overview of ongoing contrail research projects and how they contribute to addressing unanswered questions.
  • Olivia Nunez, Operational Expert, SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking
  • David Antonello, Green Operations Project Leader, THALES
  • Philippe Masson, CICONIA project leader, Airbus
  • Carlo Abate, Environment & Energy Head of Area, Deep Blue
  • Manuel Fernando Soler, Associate Professor, Aerosopace Engineering, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Sigrun Matthes, Scientific Expert, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR
  • Alexis Manneville, Engineering, Aircraft Architect - Energy & Environment, Airbus
  • Angelo Riccio, Associate Professor in Physics for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Parthenope University of Naples
  • Feijia Yin, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, University of Technology, TU Delft
  • Andrew Chen, Principal, Climate Aligned Industries, Aviation (remote) & Joey Cathcart, Senior Associate, Climate Aligned Industries, Aviation, RMI (remote)
18:20 - 18:30 Future research priorities and roadmap for deployment (ATM Master Plan)
In this session our speaker will outline future research priorities and the roadmap for the deployment of initiatives outlined in the European ATM Master Plan.
  • Andreas Boschen, Executive Director, SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking
18:30 - 18:35 Day 1 Wrap-up
18:35 - 21:00 Reception and tour of stands
Time Session Speakers
08:00 - 09:00 Welcome coffee and registration
09:00 - 09:10 Welcome and opening remarks
  • Tanja Grobotek, Director Europe Affairs, CANSO
09:10 - 09:30 Non-CO2 monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV)
In this session, our speaker will present the plan for establishing a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) scheme of aviation’s non-CO2 effects, in support of the preparation of implementing legislation defined in the EU ETS Directive, as well as provide support for operating the implementing rules as defined by the EU ETS Directive. This session will set the scene for the following panel discussion on MRV.
 
  • Dimitar Nikov, Senior Policy Officer, DG CLIMA, European Commission
  • Vincent de Haes, Sustainable Aviation Consultant, To70
09:30 - 10:15 Panel discussion on non-CO2 MRV
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Jo Dardenne, Director Aviation, Transport & Environnent (T&E)
  • Laurent Donceel, Deputy Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E)
  • Patrick Arpino, Professional Affairs Director, European Cockpit Association (ECA)
  • Vincent De Vroey, Director of Civil Aviation, Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe, ASD
  • Steven Moore, Head of ATM Network Operations, EUROCONTROL
10:15 - 11:00 Coffee break and tour of stands
11:00 - 12:15 Operational mitigating strategies (Part 1)
In this session, experts across the aviation industry will explore lessons learned from various trials and look at potential operational mitigation strategies to minimise contrail formation by predicting and avoiding ice supersaturated regions. They will discuss how these mitigation strategies may impact flight operations and air traffic management if implemented at scale.
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Ilona Sitova, ATC Environmental Performance Specialist, EUROCONTROL MUAC & Rüdiger Ehrmanntraut, Senior Project Manager, EUROCONTROL MUAC
  • David Antonello, ATM Green Operations Project Leader, Thales & Reynir Sigurdsson, Executive Director, Borealis
  • Marc Shapiro, Director Contrails, Breakthrough Energy
  • Alejandra Frias, Head of Sustainability, Flightkeys GmbH
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch break and tour of exhibits
13:15 - 14:35 Operational mitigating strategies (Part 2)
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Benedikt Annweiler, Business Lead Lido Flight Optimiser, Lufthansa Systems GmbH
  • Adam Durant, Chief Executive Officer, SATAVIA
  • Brice Bergantz, Flight Operations Architect, Airbus & Siân Andrews, SESAR Environmental Lead, NATS
  • Emily Dallara, Operational Efficiency Engineer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
14:35 - 15:50 Other mitigation strategies
In this session experts from universities and industry will discuss the potential of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in reducing contrail formation. They will look at all types of emissions (CO2 and non-CO2) and the technological challenges posed by the need to reduce them all, in addition to considering the impact of other constraints to air traffic performance.
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Marc Stettler, Reader in Transport and the Environment, Imperial College
  • Astrid Sonneveld, Technical Development & OEM Partnerships Manager, Renewable Aviation, Neste (remote)
  • Nicolas Jeuland, Fellow Expert / Prospective Manager Aviation environmental impact assessment and low carbon fuels, Safran
  • Arvind Gangoli Rao, Professor and Chair of Sustainable Aircraft Propulsion, University of Technology, TU Delft
15:50 - 16:10 Coffee break and tour of exhibits
16:10 - 16:55 Mitigation strategies panel discussion
Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Reynir Sigurdsson, Executive Director, Borealis
  • Robert Brons, Pilot, Dutch Airlines Pilots Association
  • Mike Hornby, Operations Standing Committee Chair, CANSO
  • Maja Marciniak, Senior Economist, IATA
16:55 - 17:20 European non-CO2 research programme
This session will feature EASA's perspective on the challenge of non-CO2 mitigation measures and future actions to stimulate research and the development of mitigation strategies.
  • Stephen Arrowsmith, Chief Expert, Environmental Protection, EASA
  • Michail Kyriakopoulos, Aeronautics Research Policy Senior Expert, DG RTD, European Commission
17:20 - 17:35 Conference wrap-up and way forward

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