Observation platform for technological and institutional consolidation of research in safety and security

Towards safer and more secure aviation

The OPTICS2 programme aims to deliver a global vision of the aviation research landscape, together with strategic recommendations. The goal is to set priorities so as to ensure the safe and secure evolution of aviation and air traffic management by 2050.

OPTICS2 assesses whether European aviation safety and security research is on the right track towards Flightpath 2050, the vision for aviation safety and security set out by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE).

Working in collaboration with an extended group of aviation stakeholders, OPTICS2 delivers a yearly state-of-the-art report on European aviation safety and security research, identifying research gaps and bottlenecks for innovation, and providing the European Commission with recommendations to address them.

Our contribution

In the framework of OPTICS2, we:

  • maintain a strategic vision of safety and security research in Europe, and of its positioning globally;
  • ensure a close link between OPTICS and OPTICS2 and consistency of approach and methodology;
  • contribute to the project assessment and to the development of the state of the art of EU safety and security research;
  • play a key role in the stakeholders’ engagement activities, in particular with ACARE WG4 and the European Commission;
  • contribute to the dissemination activities;
  • ensure that the added value of SESAR outputs is represented in OPTICS2.


For non-European organisations and industries:

  • International strategic benchmarking;
  • Opportunities for international cooperation and potential synergies;

For passengers:

  • Societal benefits from European aviation safety and security research;
  • Passenger-centred view of research;

For the industry:

  • State of the art of research;
  • The most promising research for safety and security;
  • A window on the past and ongoing research on specific topics;
  • Solutions ready/not ready for adoption;

For the research community:

  • State of the art of research in aviation;
  • To see what is funded, both as one-off projects and longer-term research threads;
  • Potential future hot topics and key challenges;
  • To see where the industry is involved in academic research;
  • European centres of expertise;
  • Who is working with whom;
  • A channel to influence the EU Work Programme;

For EU Agencies and national authorities:

  • Progress towards Flightpath 2050 goals;
  • To see which research is nearing maturity (TRL 6) for industrial exploitation;
  • Research blocking points;
  • Inputs for further strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA) revision;
  • Sustainable assessment method;


Deep Blue Srl, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali Spa, Stichting Nationaal Lucht - En Ruimtevaartlaboratorium, Bae Systems (Operations) Limited, Fundacion Instituto De Investigacion Innaxis, Deutsches Zentrum Fuer Luft - Und Raumfahrt Ev, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale Per L'informatica, Office National D'etudes Et De Recherches Aerospatiales.


OPTICS2 is the follow-up of the OPTICS project, which started in started in 2013 to determine whether Europe was doing the right aviation safety research to deliver a safer future, in accordance with the goals cited in Europe’s vision for aviation, Flightpath 2050. Four years later, the team had analysed 243 safety research projects from all over Europe. Many of these projects are moving us in a safer direction, whether focusing on adverse weather, drones, human factors or resilience.

OPTICS2 started in 2017 and will end in 2021.

Europe needs to become more strategic in its safety research, and to ‘tighten up’ its business model, but overall the review is positive, and Europe will no doubt continue to carry out world-class safety research, preparing us for the challenges which lie ahead in aviation.

OPTICS2 enlarges the scope, focusing also on aviation security research. It is envisaged that over the next four years, OPTICS2 will lead to an improved aviation safety and security research framework in Europe, allowing safe and secure travel for all, whether inside Europe’s borders or beyond.