Confronting climate change, designing quieter and more efficient airplanes, developing innovative satellites to observe the Earth’s system: our sector is using its skills to their utmost to take action for the environment.

Our two main objectives are to advance our technologies so that we can better observe our planet and to create sustainable air travel.

“Today as in the past, the aeronautical and space sectors inspire dreams. They symbolize the connections between people and an open gateway to the world. Our industry is preparing for the future through unprecedented efforts in research and innovation and will rise to challenges such as observing the Earth from space and adapting air transport to climate change.”

Éric Trappier, President of GIFAS

Watching over the Earth from above

Half of the 50 climate-relevant variables are measured from space. We use them to track changes in different components of the Earth’s system: the atmosphere, oceans, ice, land and more. 


Satellite measurements alert us to environmental crises and help us monitor them. Our manufacturing and research centers strive to create ever more precise and powerful satellites. We gain this information through space missions that observe the oceans using altimetric and spectrometric methods, map CO 2 exchange, monitor the changes in the ice caps, etc.

Decarbonizing air transport

Through the ICAO, the UN specialized Agency for civil aviation, the aviation sector became the first to make a shared international commitment to reducing its climate footprint. This push for carbon-neutral growth in air transport from 2020 relies on technological and operational progress, the widespread use of sustainable alternative fuels, and the adoption of a carbon offset scheme for aviation beginning in 2021. 

To make air travel sustainable, as defined by the Paris agreements, worldwide CO 2 emissions from the aviation sector must drop to half of their 2005 levels by 2050. Starting now, a tremendous R&D effort is necessary to reach this goal, and a combination of solutions enter into play (hybridization/electrification, innovative technology for motors and configurations, decarbonized fuels that will eventually include hydrogen,


This is the main focus of work being done in France by CORAC (the Civil Aviation Research Council), an advisory board that brings together government and industry to establish research programs for the aviation sector in France. Along with the DGAC (French Civil Aviation Authority), the relevant ministries, and industry entities from GIFAS and ONERA (the French center for aerospace research), CORAC devises an ambitious plan for innovation. Each of the large projects brought to fruition must represent a major advancement for the environment.

Developing a sustainable industry

Above and beyond designing innovative new products, the aerospace sector strives to reduce its environmental impact, whether by improving industrial sites and processes or by optimizing products’ entire life cycle (raw materials, substances, energy, water, waste, etc.). 

The GIFAS Environment and Sustainable Development Committee handles numerous and varied topics such as the impact of regulations (REACh, environmental impact assessment for facilities, …), the circular economy, the energy transition, climate adaptation, eco-design, environmental company reporting, and biodiversity.

Go further

  • 53rd International Paris Air Show report
    Find the 2019 key Figures
  • 53rd International Paris Air Show report
    Find the 2019 key Figures