News & Industry Affairs / Environment

The green aviation debate

AASA addresses the green aviation debate and presents a variety of views and articles, to encourage debate and action, including IATA's analysis on the cost of going green; the Booz & Company (now PWC's Strategy&)'s assertion that airlines have no choice but to reduce their consumption of jet fuel in their analysis of the future of green aviation; an article by National Geographic about advances that will change air travel such as new commercial plane designs, alternative fuels, flight patterns, and airport architecture; and a thought-provoking article by Green Futures, part of the Guardian Environment Network, that questions whether the aviation industry, in need of radical innovation to address its high carbon footprint, could ever really be green.

  • Booz & Company (now PWC's Strategy&): The Future of Green Aviation
    2008. Airlines today are faced with a dramatically changing business landscape, largely because of volatile jet fuel prices and the pressure of climate change and its affects on the environment. Airlines must reduce their consumption of oil-based jet fuel by investing in more fuel-efficient technologies, nurturing the growth of alternative energies, and, more immediately, and change their business models and metrics by which performance is measured...
    Download the pdf document 

  • 5 Advances That Will Change Air Travel
    May 2, 2017. National Geographic. New plane designs, alternative fuels, flight patterns, and even airport architecture promise to shrink aviation's carbon footprint. This article is part of National Geographics Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society.  
    As the world’s middle class expands, so does its ability to travel. Passenger numbers are expected to double over the next two decades, and carbon emissions from aviation will rise along with them—by about 300% by 2050. While today’s flights emit half as much as they did in 1990, further savings are needed to meet the industry’s goal of capping its carbon emissions. Meanwhile airlines are investing in new technology, alternative fuels, and operational advances.
    Kelsey Nowakowski, National Geographic journalist
    Read the full article here: 

  • Can the aviation industry ever be green?
    January 8, 2010. Guardian Environment Network. Cutting emissions on the scale required to meet carbon targets means big changes in either how, or how much, we fly. Roger East sees an industry in need of radical innovation and asks, can it go fast – and far – enough? From Green Futures, part of the Guardian Environment Network...
    Read the full article here: Can the aviation industry ever be green?   

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Below: This future aircraft design concept for supersonic flight over land comes from the team led by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. The team's simulation shows possibility for achieving overland flight by dramatically lowering the level of sonic booms through the use of an "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration. Other revolutionary technologies help achieve range, payload and environmental goals. This supersonic cruise concept is among the designs presented in April 2010 to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for its NASA Research Announcement-funded studies into advanced aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 time-frame. Image source:  Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin Corporation. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.