(Blue Ocean Network.com – May 2, 2014) — Geneva, Switzerland — Air travel is responsible for 700 million tonnes – around three percent – of global carbon emissions every year. But if the growth of aviation continues, this could rise to three billion tonnes by 2050. Public and political pressure on the aviation industry is mounting as Air travel is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.

Now, despite being perceived as resistant to environmental change, aircraft manufacturers and airlines have come together in an unprecedented act of co-operation in the search to survive in a world after kerosene and naphtha-type jet fuels.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all aviation stakeholders to stay focused and unified to deliver a vision for a sustainable aviation future at the recent 7th Air Transport Action Group Environmental Summit in Geneva.

“Throughout the first 100 years of commercial passenger flight, aviation has demonstrated a proud history of teamwork and delivered innovation that has changed our world dramatically,”

“The strength of the aviation industry’s response to the environmental challenge has been founded on our unity of purpose. The industry has been clear with its call for a global environmental solution and a commitment to three sequential carbon-reduction targets. Working together, we have demonstrated progress with more efficient operations, investments in technology and by driving improvements in the use of infrastructure,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Tyler reminded the delegates that the industry must remain focused on:

  • Finding ways for biofuels to deliver a real contribution to aviation’s environmental performance.
  • Making the balanced approach work even harder to manage issues around aircraft noise.
  • Ensuring that a global mandatory carbon offsetting scheme is implemented to help the industry achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

Three problems have prodded the aviation industry into a search for new fuels: increasing global demand for oil from all industry sectors, accompanied by a steep rise in oil prices; an expected three-fold increase in global air travel over the next
30 years; and the requirement and expectation that the aviation industry play its part in reducing its environmental impact.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), today’s global fleet is 65 per cent more fuel-efficient than it was in 1970. And the clean technology of modern aircraft engines has almost eliminated emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. This, however, clearly isn’t going to be enough, and the IATA wants a carbon-free aircraft flying by 2050.

“As an industry, we are 100 years old. But I am absolutely convinced that this industry is only just getting started. The best is yet to come. And sustainability will be a critical key to unlocking our future and the benefits that aviation will deliver to the world,” said Tyler.