Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2011 Contents L
ast year, the world’s airlines carried over
2.4 billion passengers as travel demand
reb ounded from the global recession.
Those flights g enerated about 649
million tonnes of carbon dioxide –
out of more than 30 billion tonnes
produced in total by humans, according to the Air
Transport Action Group (ATAG).
This year, passenger traffic is expected to be in the
region of 2.7 billion, but the aviation industry is working
hard to ensure that the emissions they produce do not
increase every year in line with traffic growth.
The global industry produces around 2 percent
of all human-induced CO2 emissions, with aviation
resp onsible for 12 percent of emissions from all
transport sources – compared with ab out 74 percent
from road transport, ATAG says. The Geneva,
Switzerland-based organisation is a not-for-profit
group representing the air transport industry, with the
goal of promoting its sustainable growth.
The aviation industry has done more than many others
to improve its environmental record, setting itself some
high targets: to improve fleet fuel-efficiency by 1.5
percent per annum between now and 2020; capping net
carbon emissions from aviation through carbon-neutral
growth from 2020; and halving net aviation carbon
emissions by 2050, compared with 2005 levels.
Investing in the latest efficient aircraft will help achieve
these targets, but isn’t anywhere near enough. Jet aircraft
in ser vice today are 70 percent more fuel-efficient per
seat-kilometre than the first jets in the 1960s, with the
Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Bombardier CSeries, for
example, using less than 3l of jet fuel per 100 passenger-
kilometres, says ATAG. But in order for the aviation
industry to reach its annual 1.5 p ercent annual fleet-
efficiency improvement target, ATAG points out that the
world’s airlines will have to purcha se 12,000 new aircraft
at a cost of about US$1.3 trillion.
Low-carbon, sustainable aviation fuels, particularly
biof uels, provide the industry with one of the biggest
opportunities to reach its targets. “From a standing start
just a few years ago, the aviation industry has embraced
the concept of biofuels with enthusiasm and has already
completed much of the te chnical work needed to start
commercial flights,” ATAG says.
Biofuels offer huge potential, with ATAG noting that
if commercial aviation received 6 percent of its fuel supply
from biofuel by 2020, this would reduce the industry’s
overall carbon footprint by 5 percent.
Since the first biofuel test flight, conducted by Virgin
Atlantic in February 2008, when the carrier tested a
first-generation feedstock on a Boeing 747-400 flying
between London and Amsterdam, the industry has
indeed embraced the alternative fuels. Air New Zealand
launched tests of sustainable, second-generation biofuel
in December 2008, using a 50:50 blend of Jet A1 fuel and
jatropha to power one engine on a 747-400 flying out of
Auckland Airport. More test-flights followed, including
some by Continental Airlines, K LM, Japan Airlines and
Brazil’s TAM Airlines.
In June, K L M operated a scheduled passenger biofuel
flight between Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The following month, Lufthansa launched a six-month
programme flying an Airbus A321 four-times daily on
the Frankfurt-Hamburg route using a 25 percent blend
of jatropha, camelina and animal fat biofuel in the first
long-term trial of the fuel.
Meanwhile, Mexican carrier Interjet has conducted a
biofuel flight on an A320 using a jatropha-based blend;
Finnair in July flew an A319 between Amsterdam
and Helsinki using a vegetable oil-based fuel; Boeing
flew its new 747-8 Freighter across the Atlantic to
the Paris Air Show in June, using a 15:85 blend of
camelina-based biofuel and Jet A; and Honeywell
conducted the first business-jet biofuel flight, when
it flew a Gulfstream G450 to the Paris show using a
blend of camelina-based Green Jet Fuel, developed by
Honeywell company UOP, and petroleum based jet
fuel. The Honeywell flight alone saved 5.5 tonnes of
net CO2 emissions.
22 AsianAviation | OCTOBER 2011
Leading the green
From biofuels to efficient aircraft design to aircraft recycling – the global aviation industry is trying to be as environmentally
friendly as possible. Emma Kelly reports on the industry’s green initiatives.
Boeing is promising a 16 percent improvement in
fuel use per seat with the new 737 MAX com-
pared to current competitors.
30/09/11 9:33 PM
Links Archive AAV September 2011 AAV November 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page