Page 26 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 26
Summer 2014 European Energy Innovation


Setting the targets for

sustainable growth in aviation

By Haldane Dodd, Air Transport Action Group, Geneva

In the aviation sector, fuel lean-burning engines will enter industry realised a more strategic
efficiency and cost reductions the market along with lighter but focus was needed to reduce
run hand-in-hand. As Haldane stronger airframe materials and emissions further.
Dodd of the Air Transport electrically-driven aircraft systems
Action Group explains, the which will replace today’s heavy At the 2008 Aviation &
incentive for the industry to run mechanical and hydraulic power Environment Summit in Geneva,
more efficiently is more than units — lowering fuel costs further. industry leaders took the
just a sense of environmental There is an important spin-off to unprecedented step to sign an
obligation. this economy drive — each tonne agreement on our path forward
of fuel saved also means 3.15 for reducing emissions by
Fuel makes up over a third of tonnes fewer carbon dioxide working in partnership across
airline operating costs – the (CO2) emissions. the industry. This declaration
world’s carriers spent over $211 was followed by a set of
billion on jet fuel last year and While airports and air navigation comprehensive targets, the first
the long term trend on the fuel service providers have been for any sector:
price is upwards. There is a working on reducing emissions
definite fiscal incentive for airlines from their own operations (1) From 2009 until 2020: average
to reduce the largest of their (see, for example, the excellent 1.5% efficiency improvement per
expenses. Airport Carbon Accreditation year
programme), there is no direct
Aircraft designers, too, have financial incentive for an airport or The industry is using a four-pillar
long strived for fuel efficient air navigation service provider to strategy (see below) to further
new models of plane and the help an airline reduce fuel costs increase its fuel efficiency by a
major sales pitch between – despite emissions from aircraft further 17% over the first decade.
manufacturers is the efficiency of operations making up over 95% One of the most important parts
each new design. In fact, aircraft of the industry’s impact. However, of that strategy is the introduction
entering today’s fleet are well in the last five years, we have seen of new technology – the biggest
over 70% more fuel-efficient a phenomenal increase in efforts impact of which comes through
than they were in the 1960s and by all parts of the aviation sector replacement of older aircraft
most of the industry’s current to work with each other to reduce in the fleet with newer, more
research and development emissions… and it all started at efficient ones. This is not cheap.
(R&D) initiatives are dedicated to the top. To keep to the 1.5% fleet
ensuring this trend will continue efficiency improvement target, the
for generations to come. SETTING TARGETS world’s airlines will need to invest
Our track record on fuel and in around 12,000 new aircraft by
The investment is significant. It is emissions reduction is one 2020 at an estimated cost of $1.3
estimated that the civil aerospace of which we can be proud. trillion.
industries in Europe and North Technology and operational
America alone spend over measures deployed since 1990 (2) From 2020: Capping emissions
$20 billion each year on R&D, alone have allowed the industry growth from aviation
most of which will bring about to avoid over five billion tonnes
emissions reductions. Over the of CO2. But with the growth The aviation sector has agreed to
next few years, a new range of in passengers and traffic, the cap its net emissions at the 2020
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