Carbon savings: Plane sailing or failure to take off?

Making airport ground movements more efficient and introducing more biofuels to the aviation sector could help slash fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. That’s the verdict from a study by […]

Register now!

By Jonny Bairstow

Making airport ground movements more efficient and introducing more biofuels to the aviation sector could help slash fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

That’s the verdict from a study by Ricardo Energy & Environment for the UK Government, which assesses the cost and impact of a number of potential clean measures for the air travel industry.

It claims biofuels and ground efficiency measures are likely to be easier for the UK to implement as they depend less on international collaboration.

However, researchers say policy measures to be implemented by airlines, such as early fleet retirement or reduced aircraft cabin weight measures, could prove challenging, especially as many of the airlines that would be affected are not registered in the UK.

The study found increased research and development would not be cost-effective as the UK would bear all the costs but only receive a small part of the benefits, as more efficient aircraft types would be sold and used globally.

It also suggests despite the potential carbon abatement of introducing new planes and regulating aircraft types being the highest of all the measures, costs were also very high due to the expense of acquiring additional aircraft.