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Created in 2014 by Paris Airport, La Tribune and Forum Media, the Paris Air Forum brings together a succession of debates, conferences and keynotes bringing together leading figures, leading decision makers and experts from the aeronautics, defense and space sectors . The objective is to decipher the challenges of the present and the challenges of the future in order to better address the challenges of tomorrow. As with each edition, the new generations are part of this reflection with the presence of some thirty of the most innovative startups in the Innovation Village, they are the ones who make the opening of the sessions by powerful pitches. The red thread 2017 of Paris Air is the theme "Passengers & aviators". The aim is to highlight the transformation of relations and processes in civil and military aeronautics and space as well as the new equilibria of the most dynamic and innovative international industrial chain. 


By Augustin de Romanet - Chairman and CEO of Groupe AdP

The cradle of aviation, France is forever associated with the great names of Roland Garros, Louis Blériot, Hélène Boucher, Henri Farman. They all contributed, during the Belle Epoque, to the tremendous momentum of aeronautical emulation, beating new records nearly every week, creating air routes, inventing new machines tested at air shows, that were as spectacular as they were recent. The death of Mermoz in December 1936 on board the Latécoère 300 La Croix du Sud was seen as a national catastrophe, and was marked by an official ceremony at the Hôtel National des Invalides in the presence of Edouard Daladier, who was then French premier.

France has remained faithful to this aeronautical tradition. The country ranks second in the world both in terms of the number of  registered aircraft and the number of pilots, with more than 45,500 licence holders. At the heart of 600 flying clubs, 9,000 young people each year receive their Brevet d’Initiation Aéronautique (BIA). The vibrancy of this fabric is paramount. It is in this way that we bridge the gap between education and the professional world, by training future pilots for our commercial aviation. The territory itself is marked by this attachment, with 460 metropolitan aerodromes, more than 120 of which have had a commercial activity in the last twenty years.

Changes in the industry are being pursued in the broadest sense of the term. When it comes to manufacturers, competition with China is only just beginning, with the maiden flight of the C919 one month ago. Regarding airlines, the offering continues to expand with the familiar low-cost medium-haul services, and now with the newer long-haul services; all of this with the reconfigurations of alliances that are being pursued at a time when a great flag carrier is at a crossroads, Alitalia. In the airport sector, as we know, the competition between hubs and the irruption of the Middle East on the air transport map, while virtually absent thirty years ago, has moved the goalposts.

Continuing to be innovative and promoting our country on the global aeronautics scene requires working together. We have everything to gain. France is the world’s second-largest exporter in aeronautics, with a 22% share of the global market, after the United States (35%). Contrary to the agri-food and car industries, the country has seen its market share increase by eight percentage points in ten years, since we play a pivotal role in Europe as an assembler. We know how to make the most of it: it is one of the few sectors in which employment is growing, with predominantly qualified profiles (41% of employees being managers or engineers). We are lucky enough to be leaders throughout the chain—Air France-KLM and all of its subsidiaries, for transport; the manufacturers Airbus, ATR, Dassault, with their chains of suppliers (Zodiac, Safran, Thales etc.); the services at Servair, through to events such as Le Bourget, Eurosatory and, now, the Paris Air Forum.


By Max Armanet - Head of Paris Air Forum

The center of gravity has shifted. The user now sits at the heart of the aviation sector, a change that has taken place in small increments. What with the economic crisis, it is now blatantly apparent. To rethink aviation from the standpoint of the customer, the user; to invent, develop, produce, and implement innovations with this obsession of satisfying the ultimate judge of the market: the passenger. Of course, there has always been a dialog between the passenger and the professionals, but with competition growing tougher on a global scale, anticipating the wishes and requirements of this new arbitrator of elegance has assumed an unprecedented importance. The passenger has become a concept incarnate broadly incorporating the digital revolution and the transformations it brings. This is the phenomenon we wanted to explore in this 2017 edition of the Paris Air Forum "Passengers and Aviators."

The founding paradigm shift from the inventor to the user always leaves ample space for innovation. Of course! Ever since its advent more than a century ago, the industrialization of the conquest of the third dimension has been based on an incessant drive toward the most innovative solution. The rivalry between economic players, "aviators" leapfrogging each other with new developments offered through incessant achievements and advancements. Curbing this algorithm of change has long been unthinkable. Such is the DNA heritage for aviators. The Concorde remains the most emblematic example of this dynamic. The most beautiful airliner ever imagined is a good reflection of this frantic practice, oftentimes out of sync with the economic model. Who cares! This technological gem was flown for 27 years and little did it matter that reality was cruel toward this newborn. For a long time, for better or worse, this principle worked. With amazement, the world saw man's oldest dream, "to fly," become a mass practice. Since then, global economic crises, not leaving this sector unscathed, have spread the virtuous virus of profitability and, to that end, the ongoing focus on the expectations of the market and its personification: the passenger.

Henceforth, innovation bows to economic reality. And with that yardstick, customer satisfaction is taken into account well before the customer approaches the plane. For the traveler of the future, this goes from the very moment the passenger imagines his/her trip, to the final moment of arrival. The choice of destination and the means of getting there from where the customer resides are part of the equation. Freedom from the hassle of baggage, waiting times kept to a minimum without compromising security and safety requirements, optimized travel time, cabin comfort, the variety of program offerings, and food quality, among other things, are taken into account as much as the choice of power plant, cockpit design, or new requirements imposed for cyber-security. This global vision of the air travel subject is tied to the subject's most local dimension in an unending dialectic in which reliability, safety, and convenience answer to each other.

The design of an aircraft, its interior, the deployment of the life center which the airport platform has become, and the means of accessing and protecting it, are in response to what is defined as the "passenger experience." It is interesting that in the military realm, performance of the mission adheres to the same types of requirements. For defense, real time and strategic depth are put before specific operational parameters: constraints, means, and operation which define the "mission experience." All criteria which are found, obviously, in space practice.

In this world of increasingly fierce competition, setting oneself apart through the "passenger experience" becomes a necessity. Innovation is the natural response that each player will adapt to its environment and vision of the market. New materials, digital responses on the ground and in the air, more economical and more environmentally-friendly engines, increased performance, improved services, and taking into account personalized and contextualized communication needs... The list of challenges that aerospace is aiming to meet is indeed long. All of which are subjects that we are pleased to address together with you in this new


Aerospace 4.0

Safety-Security: What stakes ?

The new ways to travel

Complete programme