Last week’s poll: cleaner, greener, quieter flying

It’s approaching peak season for flights, as millions of people take their summer holidays. How can the aerospace industry best be encouraged to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and cut noise?

It’s approaching peak season for flights, as millions of people take their summer holidays. How can the aerospace industry best be encouraged to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and cut noise?

Opinion was narrowly divided by last week’s poll, which asked how the aerospace industry could best improve the efficiency, emissions output and noise levels from its winged products.

Of 338 respondents, 34 per cent thought that the industry is making huge strides to cut operators costs, followed narrowly by 30 per cent who thought extra emissions and noise levies on aircraft operators would encourage them to buy cleaner, quieter aircraft.

Just under a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) thought better tax breaks focused on environmental research and development would lead to improvements, and seven per cent thought environmental R&D funding should come directly from the public sector. Five per cent of respondents were not satisfied with the options presented to them.

On the manufacturing side, Airbus alone says it is spending over 90 per cent of its research and technology investments on eco-efficiency, and the A350 XWB alone will burn 25 per cent less fuel compared to previous generation aircraft.

From an operational perspective, expected outcomes from the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project include a 10 per cent reduction in the effects flight have on the environment, and a three-fold increase in capacity which will reduce delays on the ground and in the air. 

How can the aerospace industry best be encouraged to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and cut noise?