Working and Travelling on Aircraft program


The competing need to provide airline passengers with a comfortable yet economical travel experience is a primary driver for the development of new aircraft flight deck and cabin technologies. The Working and Travelling on Aircraft (WTA) program applies cutting-edge research, cross-disciplinary expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to accelerate the development of new cabins, environmental controls and avionics along the path to commercialization and market acceptance.

Using a holistic approach, the WTA program draws from its diverse knowledge base in environmental controls, vibration, acoustics, avionics, human factors and physiology to enable clients to advance the design, fabrication and testing of innovative new aerospace products that will improve passenger comfort, safety and enroute efficiency. In doing so, the program works to strengthen the Canadian supply chain and enhance its market share in an expanding global market for cabin and flight deck technologies.


Collaborate with us

Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.

Collaboration opportunities

NRC is actively seeking WTA partners and collaborators to help improve passenger comfort, safety and enroute efficiency. Potential partners include:

  • Owners and operators of commercial aircraft who are interested in differentiating their products based on passenger comfort.
  • Airframers interested in taking a human factors approach to passenger comfort and work crew safety issues.
  • System manufacturers and integrators who possess or seek expertise in passenger comfort and safety, as well as flight deck-related human factors.
  • Airlines interested to develop and evaluate new cabin interiors, technologies and concepts, to explore trade-offs between cabin attributes; identifying the most cost-effective and cost-beneficial designs whilst optimizing comfort.

Working with our partners, NRC will develop technologies that improve the comfort of people working and travelling on aircraft. Our primary areas of focus include:

  • Creating a more comfortable journey by making improvements in the cabin environment, including lighting, acoustics, vibration, thermal comfort and air quality, as well as in-flight entertainment and productivity;
  • Providing a shorter, more economical trip with enhanced flight deck situation awareness and flight operations, as well as reduced cabin and flight deck energy consumption;
  • Ensuring a healthier, safer cabin with improved fire safety; and
  • Providing opportunities for cabin and avionics demonstrations that showcase new technology, rapid design techniques and effective validation methods that will lead to faster acceptance of innovations.

NRC's specific goals for the WTA initiative are to accomplish the following by 2020:

  • Reduce passenger discomfort levels from 50% to 20%;
  • Improve flight operations efficiency by reducing trip times by five minutes for each flight segment hour, and lowering current environmental control system energy consumption levels by 50%; and
  • Improve safety by reducing the number of reported aircraft incidents annually by 20%.
Collaborator benefits

Our WTA partners realize the following benefits:

  • Access to a world-class research infrastructure and unique expertise, combined with competitive rates, customized service options, and measures to ensure partner data integrity and confidentiality;
  • Maximum opportunities and connections between Canadian companies at all levels of the supply chain, including upper tier suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs);
  • Increased market share and operating margins for OEMs with cost-effective cabin design and configurations;
  • Heightened revenue for operators, due to reduced flight times and fuel costs; and
  • Access to our unique cabin demonstrator facility, which serves as a platform to demonstrate, de-risk and accelerate the development of new technologies.
Technical and advisory services

NRC offers a number of research and technical services that include fee-for-service testing, calibration and consultation. We also develop and transfer technologies through consortia, collaborative research agreements and licensing arrangements, tailoring business opportunities to the needs of individual clients and licensees.

Our proven track record of successful research and technology development, as well as our finely honed expertise and multi-disciplinary array of technical capabilities, make us ideally positioned to help optimize commercial air travel. NRC's technical advisory services include:

  • Acoustics
  • Avionics
  • Aircraft cabin environment
  • Human physiological monitoring
  • Human factors
Research facilities

Partners and clients have access to a wide range of facilities that will contribute to the development of new technologies for safer, healthier, faster flights. Our facilities include:

  • Acoustic transmission loss facility
  • Reverberant acoustic chamber
  • Anechoic room
  • Centre for Air Travel Research
  • Fleet of research aircraft
  • Human-rated vibration test facility
  • Indoor environment facility
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) analysis laboratory

Contact us

To discuss your project or find out more about how we can support your business, contact:

Dean Flanagan, Client Relationship Leader
Telephone: 613-990-8319

Targeted industries

Aerospace and Defence, Manufacturing and Sustainment