Green sky thinking: eight ways to a cleaner flying future

时间:2019-03-01 06:03:07166网络整理admin

By Bennett Daviss We love jetting off to faraway beaches, and the occasional business junket or foreign city break is hard to resist. Sure, we fret about the greenhouse gases and other pollutants these flights generate, but we quickly put it to the back of our minds. After all, politicians round the world seem to say that it’s OK to fly. In a television interview in January, for instance, UK prime minister Tony Blair suggested we don’t need to give up flying since scientists and engineers are developing new fuels, engines and airframes to mitigate its impact. “What we need to do is look at how you make air travel more energy-efficient,” he said. “If you use the science and technology constructively, your economy can grow, people can have a good time but do so more responsibly.” It’s a view shared by many politicians in the US, which represents a third of the world’s market for commercial flights. But with so much at stake, are such reassurances enough? On the one hand here is an industry enjoying massive growth, with ever more of us zooming off on ever cheaper jaunts. On the other is the undeniable fact that flying produces huge quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. So can technology really turn aviation green? More importantly, can it do so before it’s too late? The aviation industry itself seems remarkably sanguine. According to the International Air Transport Association, today’s jet engines are around 40 per cent more fuel-efficient than those designed in the 1960s,