Image via Wikipedia
While the aviation industry has set itself significant targets to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, International Air Transport Association (Iata) on Friday called on governments across the globe to support the aviation industry in this cause.
In a copy of a speech delivered by Iata director-general Giovanni Bisignani at the Air Transport Action Group Aviation and Environment Summit, in Geneva, he reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to capping net CO2 emissions by 2020 and to cutting its CO2emissions in half by 2050, compared with 2005 levels.
He noted that the industry’s CO2 footprint stood at 625-million tons in 2009.
“Aviation is committed to further reducing that total. We are investing in the future and we are taking a practical approach to reducing emissions today. Over the last year, we reconfirmed our targets and developed a road map to achieve them,” said Bisignani.
As part of its environmental goals, the airlines industry has committed itself to improve its fuel efficiency by 1,5% a year up to 2020.
Iata members would spend a combined $1,3-trillion between now and 2020 to buy 12 000 new aircraft. Of this, 5 000 would replace old aircraft and would result in fuel savings of between 20% and 25%.
Bisignani added that even with the additional aircraft, overall fleet efficiency was expected to improve.
Going forward, all Iata members would also be expected to report on their fuel consumption and their traffic data to allow the association to better track progress in terms of the overall environmental targets.
Significant gains could also be achieved by improving flight routes.
Earlier this month, Iata launched the iFlex programme, which could be used by air traffic controllers to ensure flexible route options. The programme would be particularly aimed at long-haul routes.
The association pointed out that early results have shown that a 10-hour intercontinental flight could, through the iFlex programme, cut flight time by six minutes, reduce fuel burn by up to 2% and save 3 000 kg of CO2.
A pilot project would be undertaken next year.
Meanwhile, Bisignani also highlighted the importance of second-generation biofuels in the industry’s plans to reduce its CO2 emissions.
The use of second-generation biofuels was estimated to reduce the industry’s CO2emissions by up to 80%. Iata was considering the use of camelina, jatropha and algae, as these did not compete with food supplies or for land resources.
“Five airlines tested them successfully. At least four more will test later this year. Some airlines have even signed forward-purchase agreements. All this progress is the result of hard work by airlines and biofuel companies,” stated Bisignani.
He urged governments to get more involved in this process, noting that biofuels could “break the tyranny of oil and lift millions from poverty along with providing a sustainable fuel source for aviation”.
Further, Iata emphasised the importance of governments’ support in assisting the aviation industry improve its environmental impact.
“We have brought to governments a working solution for aviation and climate change. This solution includes developed and developing nations as we deliver significant emissions reductions,” said Bisignani.
Image via Wikipedia