The global climate crisis has been a public issue for some time, but its continued impacts on biomes and international communities have rendered it an all-the-more pressing concern in recent years. There are numerous major contributors to greenhouse emissions, from construction and building to agriculture and manufacture – but much of the weight is also borne by travel and transport.
In the UK, the push against fossil fuels has been growing in profile. Private and public transport alike are considerable contributors to emissions, with the government taking measures to mitigate the impact of personal vehicles on national carbon emissions. But much scrutiny is also placed on the aviation industry, which is responsible for 2.5% of global emissions and the largest carbon footprint per passenger.
Change is necessary to ensure that aviation businesses can continue to thrive in a new, sustainable world. But what changes are being made to introduce sustainability to the aviation industry?
Aviation and Environmental Impacts
First, it is important to understand the extent to which aviation impacts the environment. The UK Civil Aviation Authority has identified three key environmental impacts influenced by the aviation industry: climate change; noise; and air quality.
Climate change is the leading issue when it comes to aviation and pollution, and the driving force behind prospective changes to aviation and operation. As illustrated above, aviation globally is responsible for a significant volume of carbon emissions annually, thanks to the high fuel cost of a flight.
Noise is a by-product of aviation and something that has impacted local communities for decades. Councils and aviation authorities alike have been in conversation with residents beneath flight paths over noise concerns. Air quality is also something that has impacted communities local to airports and flight paths, as fumes and fuel by-products threaten personal health and the equilibrium of local ecosystems.
Addressing the Issue
Addressing the impacts of the aviation industry is not a simple task. Many pressure groups and sustainability charities call for reductions in reliance on air travel and private transport – something which can have disastrous consequences for jobs and commerce. Instead, the issue is something that must be addressed directly – through litigation and independent industry problem-solving.
Private jet provider Vista Global is leading the charge on this front with its transparent and equitable approach to mitigating its own impact on the global climate. A recent press release by the private aviation service examined and addressed some of the routes forward for the industry. Such actions include maximising fleet optimization, subsequentially reducing fuel consumption by 8% whilst also including the wholesale adoption of emissions audits and investment in carbon neutrality.
Creating a Carbon-Neutral Industry
Vista Global’s recommendations are wide-ranging, from upheavals to reporting on emissions to the adoption of new fuels entirely. While sustainable air fuel is some way from mainstream availability, collective investment can ensure its continued research and development – while existing emissions can be offset through investment in carbon capture technology.