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Green Aviation Research and Development Network - GARDN

$25 million for 2009-18
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Green Aviation Research and Development Network

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$33 million

Montréal, Quebec

Executive Director
Sylvain Cofsky Sylvain Cofsky

Board chair
Jim Quick Jim Quick,
President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Greening Canada's aircraft to compete globally

The opportunity

Canada is the world’s fifth largest aerospace producer, generating 160,000 jobs and $22 billion in sales in 2012. But to remain competitive in this critical export market, Canadian manufacturers need to produce aircraft that meet tough new environmental rules in Europe and many other countries. That’s where our strength in research and development is a major asset. In 2009, Canada’s major aerospace companies joined forces with suppliers, customers, and university and government researchers to develop lighter materials, alternative fuels and quieter engines for a new generation of greener airplanes, engines and avionic systems that will enter into service in 2015-2025.

How GARDN is seizing the opportunity

The Green Aviation Research and Development Network is an industry-led consortium of 40 public and private sector partners, including industry heavyweights like Bombardier Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Esterline CMC Electronics and Bell Helicopter Textron Canada. GARDN is targeting what it refers to as the “valley of death” in the innovation supply chain, which includes prototyping, testing and demonstration of early-stage, pre-competitive research on next-generation aircraft, engines and avionics systems. GARDN’s research program supported 17 projects during its first phase (2009-2014) on seven topics related to emissions reduction, noise reduction, aircraft operations, airport operations, alternative fuels, life cycle management, and materials and manufacturing processes. The network’s research program was refocused for its second phase around three main research thrusts (clean, quiet and sustainable air transportation systems). Thirteen projects have been selected.

Among the results

  • Results from four GARDN projects are being commercially incorporated into new Pratt & Whitney Canada engine designs, including one that will help the company meet new particulate matter emissions regulations that will take effect in 2016.
  • In April 2012, Porter Airlines successfully conducted the first biofuel-powered commercial flight in Canada using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and Jet A1 fuel on one of Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop airliners.
  • In October 2012, the aviation industry flew the first civil jet powered by 100% unblended biofuel, made from oilseed crops commercialized by Ottawa-based Agrisoma Bioscience Inc. This project was ranked one of Popular Science’s “25 most significant scientific events of 2012.”
  • Advanced algorithms were developed that will enable airlines to reduce fuel burn and CO2 generation in cruise and descent phases of flight. Esterline CMC Electronics has implemented the software on the CMA-9000 flight management system, installed on all Sukhui Superjet 100 Russian regional airliners (10 delivered so far with orders for 300), and various Airbus A300 and A310 airliners.
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada plans to use a new environmentally friendly technology to prevent fretting and wear of components at its repair and overhaul facility in St. Hubert, Quebec. The technology will replace chromium plating.
  • Bombardier and Toronto-based Aerocoustics Engineering refurbished a University of Toronto wind tunnel that has since been used to test new methods to reduce aircraft noise levels. Another GARDN project resulted in the National Research Council developing its ability to provide noise measurements in wind tunnels.

Connect with GARDN


January 26, 2017
Making planes quieter starts with good science and effective collaboration
September 9, 2015
The number of people travelling by air is projected to grow about 4.8% per year over the next 20 years but that increased traffic is making airports noisier. The Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) has responded with a national effort to design Canadian-made planes that are among the quietest in the world. Read more
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GARDN -- Green Aviation Research & Development Network
October 5, 2012
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Porter Airlines conducted Canada's first biofuel-powered revenue flight on a Q400 turboprop
May 1, 2012