Future aircraft greener by design?
Green, John Edward
Air Travel - Greener by Design is an initiative of the UK civil aviation community, embracing the aircraft and engine manufacturing industry, the airline and airport operators, the research community and government departments. Its primary objective is to identify and promote options for reducing the environmental impact of air travel. This paper considers what might be achieved within the next 50 years by advances in aircraft and engine technology and by a shift in design priority from minimising costs to minimising environmental impact. The emphasis of the paper is on climate change and it is suggested that, in the medium term, a substantial reduction in climate impact per passenger kilometre is potentially achievable. Present understanding of the effects of aviation on the atmosphere is, however, not yet sufficiently robust for this to be asserted with confidence. Atmospheric research, focussing on those effects of aviation which it may be possible to mitigate by design and operational changes, therefore remains a high environmental priority.