Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Ottawa, the 11th IFAR Summit coined its' overall theme with the title "Enabling the Future - Certification & Regulation". With over 60 participants at the first and almost the equivalent number at the second part of the summit it was a great success overall. The challenging task of providing a virtual platform for discussion on the future of aviation after Covid-19, how IFAR can support the aerospace sector and the topic of certification and regulation in an era of rapid innovation was achieved.

Originally planned as a "hybrid" summit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it finally consisted of two purely virtual conferences: a first main conference on 3rd and 5th November 2020 and a mini-summit on 23rd and 25th March 2021.

The main conference focused on certification and regulation with a keynote speech made by Dr. Fang Liu, the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The signing of a Declaration of Intent between IFAR and ICAO summit represents a milestone in IFAR’s history, opening the door to future cooperation towards fostering innovation in aviation.

Link to ICAO Press Statement:

https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/New-ICAOIFAR-agreement-to-enhance-innovation-integration.aspx

At the mini-summit in March 2021 the focus turned to industry and researchers. There were numerous presentations and lively discussion on their responses to the international call for a sustainable aviation sector coupled with the simultaneous challenge of enabling the aviation sector to progress successfully into a post-Covid era.

Opened with a welcome speech by Mr. Mitch Davies, President of NRC, the mini-summit featured a moderated industry panel titled “Pivoting during a Pandemic – An Industry Perspective” with representatives from Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada and CAE.  

At the IFAR Café session members’ informative presentations and annual reports were shown and the session enabled IFAR’s diverse technical and non-technical working groups to present their workplans and results, establishing a valuable and informative basis for their future development and work.

In a session on internal and external partnerships individual members were honored for their outstanding service to IFAR and IFAR’s relationship with the International Council of Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) was highlighted.

The path forward for IFAR’s engagement with ICAO, following the signing of a Declaration of Intent at the first part of the summit in November 2020, was discussed and is supported by IFAR’s members, completing the summit’s overall objectives.