Technology and Operations

Through the Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program and the Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT), the FAA’s Center of Excellence (COE) for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, the FAA is supporting Research and Development (R&D) to of new aircraft and engine technologies. Technologies developed by these programs will result in a fleet of aircraft that have lower noise, use less fuel, and produce fewer emissions.  ASCENT also supports research on operational measures to reduce aviation's environmental impacts. 

Additionally, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the FAA is launching a new discretionary grant program that will make investments to accelerate production and use of SAF and development of low-emission aviation technologies in support of U.S. aviation climate goals.  The Fueling Aviation’s Sustainable Transition (FAST) grant program will enable eligible entities to carry out projects located in the United States that produce, transport, blend, or store sustainable aviation fuel, or develop, demonstrate, or apply low-emission aviation technologies. More information on the FAST grant program can be found here:

Aircraft Technology

Through the CLEEN program, the FAA and industry are working together to develop technologies that will enable manufacturers to create aircraft and engines with lower noise and emissions, as well as improved fuel efficiency. Technologies accelerated by the CLEEN program have relatively large technological risk. Government resources help mitigate this risk and incentivize aviation manufacturers to invest in developing these technologies. By cost sharing the development with the FAA, industry is willing to accept the greater risk. Once entered into service, the CLEEN technologies will deliver noise, fuel burn, and emissions benefits throughout the fleet for years to come. For more information on the CLEEN program, please visit:

Funding from the Environment & Energy (E&E) portfolio also supports efforts by ASCENT to develop innovative technological solutions to reduce noise, emissions, and fuel burn from subsonic and supersonic aircraft. While CLEEN focuses on partnerships with industry, the ASCENT aircraft technology work provides a complementary venue for university-led research to advance the state of the art and disseminate the learnings from these projects broadly across the industry. For more information on the technology projects under ASCENT, please visit:

The new FAST Grant Program will include projects focused specifically on the development of low-emission aviation technologies. This area of the program, termed FAST-Tech, is planned to include development and demonstration of individual technologies, as well as enhancement of test capabilities that can benefit the development and demonstration of a range of low-emission technologies. 


The FAA sponsors research to develop and implement clean, quiet, and energy-efficient operational procedures to help mitigate the environmental impacts of aviation. This research is conducted in coordination with other government agencies (e.g., NASA) as well as non-governmental aviation stakeholders, including industry, academia, and airport communities. The FAA aims to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions to reduce noise, fuel use, and emissions through aircraft operations while maintaining or enhancing the safety, efficiency, and predictability benefits of NextGen.

For more information on these operations research projects, please visit:


CLEEN and ASCENT are conducted in partnership with a wide range of aviation stakeholders that leverage resources from the private sector. CLEEN is a public-private partnership where the industry contributes a cost share that matches or exceeds the amount provided by the FAA. ASCENT, like all FAA COEs, requires matching cost-share from non-federal sources and benefits from an advisory committee with robust participation from a wide range of aviation stakeholders, including industry. The continuing work of CLEEN and ASCENT to develop new aircraft technologies and operational measures will help ensure aviation’s next generation of aircraft and the way they fly are more environmentally friendly.

Last updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2023