Did you work through the long holiday weekend? Whether you’re in a stuffy cubicle or on a sunny beach, consider this:
The ability to step onto an airplane and get just about anywhere in the world in a day or two surely exceeds the wildest dreams of our forefathers. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine our modern world without it. Yet concerns over carbon emissions has raised questions over how we can continue to enjoy the benefits of air travel without adversely impacting other facets of our quality of life.
The airline industry’s first response to these concerns was the development of more efficient aircraft and operations. A commitment made in 2010 pledged an annual improvement in fuel economy of 1.5 percent per year through 2020 at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion. The increased use of smaller regional jets and more precision routing and planning has helped. The next step, which is really just emerging from the laboratory, is the development of aviation biofuels that can both diversify the fuel supply while significantly reducing its carbon footprint. Read more