As civil air traffic is predicted to double by the year 2030, our industry has strived to improve the quality and safety of air travel, while minimizing its environmental impact. Over the last several decades, perhaps no industry has done more to improve its environmental performance than the aerospace industry. In the last 40 years, the fuel efficiency of jet aircraft has improved by 70 percent, while the aircraft themselves have become 90 percent quieter.
Also, no other industry segment has set such high emissions reduction targets; the Aviation Carbon-Neutral Growth (CNG2020) Strategy includes improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% in 2020, capping aircraft emissions by 2020, and halving emissions by the year 2050 (based on 2005).
AIA, through ICCAIA, has worked in partnership with industry, non-governmental organizations, and member states, under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop a meaningful CO2 standard for new civil aviation aircraft. Manufacturers’ technological improvements, along with air traffic modernization and enhanced operational procedures will aid in accomplishing these targets. Also under ICAO, experts are working to develop a global market-based measure for aviation. Both the global market-based measure and the CO2 standard are slated for ICAO sign-off in the year 2016.
Developing sustainable alternative fuels is also an integral part of the carbon neutral growth strategy. Along with our industry colleagues, we will assist in the U.S. government’s goal of producing one billion gallons of alternative jet fuel by 2018.