Flying for the environment

The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) has launched the seventh in its series of briefing papers.


The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) has launched the seventh in its series of briefing papers outlining the work being undertaken by the aerospace industry to address aviation’s impact on the environment.



The SBAC has set out the achievements of the industry in cutting its environmental impact so far, as well as voluntary targets for further reductions.



Over the last 50 years technological improvements by engine and aircraft manufacturers have resulted in a 70 per cent reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre. Manufacturers have also reduced aircraft noise by 75 per cent.



In 2001 the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) set environmental targets for new aircraft entering service in 2020. These included a 50 per cent cut in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre; an 80 per cent cut in NOx emissions per passenger kilometre; better planning and use of land around airports and systematic use of noise reduction procedures.



SBAC chief executive Ian Godden said: ‘We aim to cut CO2 emissions and noise from aircraft by fifty per cent of 2000 levels by 2020 and oxides of nitrogen by eighty per cent over the same time period. We will achieve this through engineering breakthroughs, innovative aircraft design and better air traffic management. While the aviation industry is working to cut its impact on the environment our opponents propose no practical solutions only more taxes, unaffordable surface alternatives or restrictions on flying.’



He added: ‘Aviation is playing its part to protect the environment and to meet the demands of the vast majority of the public who want to fly.’