Green skies – ‘one way or another’

Date: 08 Jun 2007
In pursuit of its stated aim to reduce aircraft emissions to zero, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued four challenges to the aviation industry worldwide. Speaking in Vancouver this week, the association’s chief executive, Giovanni Bisignani, said the industry’s track record in environmental terms was good. “Over the past few decades we have reduced noise by 75%, eliminated soot and improved fuel efficiency by 75%. “Add to this the billions invested in new aircraft to make the international fleet 25% more fuel efficient by 2020, and limiting the growth of our carbon footprint to 3% by 2050, and there has been good progress. “But a growing carbon footprint is no longer acceptable for any industry. Air transport must aim to be an industry that does not pollute,” Bisignani said. To meet this he proposed eliminating the 12% inefficiency rate in air traffic management. On the technology side the aerospace industry had to come up with a zero- emission aircraft in the next 50 years. Together with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a fair and effective global emissions trading scheme had to be delivered and, finally, airlines had to implement green strategies for best practice environmental management systems. “This will not be achieved overnight, but the airline industry was born by realizing a dream,” Bisignani said. “Potential building blocks for a carbon-free future are already there – fuel-cell technology, solar powered aircraft and fuel from biomass.” By Kim Helfrich The Citizen 08/06/07