Economically sustainable and environmentally responsible aviation

The aviation industry has made significant progress by way of promoting a more environmentally responsible and sustainable outlook. Yet plans to reduce the aviation industry’s environmental footprint are continually under discussion, with more solutions being proposed and enacted on a regular basis. This means that there’s always something more airlines can do to improve their ‘green’ standards.

This post explores some of the ways aviation companies are promoting a more economically sustainable and environmentally responsible climate.

1. Reduced CO2 emissions and green aviation fuel

Aeroplanes can reduce CO2 emissions through the use of clean fuels that decrease the number of pollutants entering the atmosphere. For instance, electrofuels – such as power-to-liquid – are considered potential sources of zero or low carbon fuels. Their effectiveness depends on the amount of CO2 emissions released to produce them, yet this amount is always less than those released by aircraft currently.

What’s more, the use of zero-emissions aircraft can allow the aviation industry to reduce CO2 in short-haul flights. Zero emissions aircraft include those powered by hydrogen or electricity. They’re expected to come into operation by the mid-2030s. Other ways to reduce CO2 emissions include rerouting flights and changing flight paths to fly at lower altitudes.

2. Better waste management

It’s important for airlines to reduce, reuse and recycle cabin waste where possible to reduce their environmental footprint. There are several ways airlines can promote better waste management, including:

• Using compostable cups and dishes
• Introducing on-board recycling for bottles and cans
• Donating non-perishable food items

One waste management idea gaining traction is the pay-as-you-go approach. This involves travellers ordering meals prior to their flight so that they only buy what they consume. This allows airlines to reduce the amount of untouched food they throw away.

3. Improved air quality

Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter are all chemical emissions associated with airports. Yet new technological advancements are allowing the aviation industry to lower their impact on local air quality to lesser than that enacted by road traffic.

Some recommendations for aircraft looking to improve air quality include providing pre-conditioned air supplies and fixed electrical ground power at terminal gates. This allows the aircraft to switch off auxiliary power units – thereby reducing the amount of fuel they burn at terminal gates.

4. Decreased noise pollution

Research into aviation noise pollution has been extensive and has involved examining engines, engine positions, the size of fan blades and more. Yet the most effective way to decrease noise pollution involves controlling where planes land and take off. This requires airports to identify the best play for runways and increase navigation performance. This can be done by allowing aircraft to follow precisely designated tracks to avoid track spreading.

5. Corsia deal

Corsia is an UN-proposed deal designed to help the aviation industry reach its carbon-neutral goal. Corsia stands for ‘Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.’ It requires airlines to purchase emissions reduction offsets from other industries to compensate for any increase in their carbon emissions past 2020 levels. Instead of doing this, they can opt for Corsia eligible, low-carbon fuels.

There are several ways that the aviation industry can promote an economically sustainable and environmentally responsible climate, and advancements are still underway. For more information, contact us today.