Up-to-date environmental science builds upon of highly standardised monitoring networks and global scale earth observations. But a missing scale in ecosystem monitoring still exist to properly bridge observations which are made at the leaf/canopy to the global scales. Aircraft and airborne sensors are ideal to operate at such “missing scale”. Aircraft can be used to operate a range of sensors to monitoring atmospheric properties along vertical profiles, to perform surface flux measurements using airborne eddy covariance techniques and to deploy different types of remote sensing equipment. Airborne science has considerably grown over the last few years, together with the advent of a new generation of airborne sensors. Despite recent efforts such as the Eufar Project, the use of airborne platform for environmental research still remains limited. The reason for this may be found in the existence of a major cultural gap between users and providers.

AIRFORS is designed to fill this gap bringing together a public organization engaged in environmental research (FEM) and a private company (AT) with excellent records in conducting airborne measurements and campaign and in operating up-to-date airborne sensors. In this way it will contribute substantially to the development of a transnational public-private partnership aimed at the promotion of unique earth observation and atmospheric measurement infrastructure, at multiple scales.