How the Aviation Industry is Working to Protect the Environment
The aviation industry produces a negative impact on the environment, but aviation companies work on the problem of decreasing the negative impact on the environment. The main concerns are the decrease of noise level and air pollution. The environmentally friendly policies of aviation companies are stimulated considerably by the policy of the state.
The aviation industry produces a profound impact on the development of the world economy and, at the present moment, it has ample opportunities for the further growth and development. At the same time, it should be pointed out that the contemporary aviation industry keeps progressing, in spite of numerous problems it has faced at the beginning of the century. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the terror attacks on 9/11, which undermined the position of many aviation companies in the US, as well as in other countries of the world. At the dawn of the century, specialists (Stewart, 2002) even predicted a steady decline of the aviation industry because of the rapid deterioration of the market performance of leading aviation companies, especially in the US.
The pessimistic forecasts concerning the possible economic failures and profound financial crisis for many aviation companies and the aviation industry at large were enforced consistently by the growing environmental concerns. To put it more precisely, the environmental situation has started to deteriorate consistently and, in this respect, the air pollution was probably one of the most serious problems which aggravated the environmental situation in the world. In fact, the dramatic climate change, the green-house effect, and numerous natural disasters, such as El-Nino, were effects of the air pollution, which was one of the most important environmental problems along with water pollution, deforestation, and others.
In such a situation, the aviation industry became the major concern of environmental organizations, which emphasized the negative impact of the contemporary aviation on the environment and, what is more, the aviation industry was viewed as one of the major polluters of the air. In response to these allegations, many aviation companies as well as the aviation industry at large were forced to change their policies, introduce technological changes in order to minimize the negative impact of the aviation industry on the environment. In fact, it is very important to discuss the current situation in the aviation industry in order to assess the effectiveness of measures that have been undertaken by aviation companies, as well as by the authorities, and evaluate perspectives of the aviation industry in the protection of the environment.
The impact of the aviation industry on the environment
Speaking about the impact of the aviation industry on the environment, it should be said that the major impact of the contemporary aviation may be traced in the air pollution. In fact, the problem of the air pollution is probably the most obvious and serious problem that the contemporary aviation should cope with. Basically, the air pollution is inevitable since the development of the aviation industry traditionally involved technologies based on the use of fossil fuels. As a result, the emission of pollutant gases, such as NOx and CO2 was one of the major problems of the aviation industry that actually persists till the present moment since the contemporary aviation still uses the same kind of fuel.
Obviously, the use of fossil fuels deteriorates consistently the problem of the air pollution and, at the moment, the manufacturers of aircrafts and the leading aviation companies attempt to solve this problem. At any rate, the minimization of the impact of the negative impact of gas emissions is one of primary concerns of the contemporary aviation industry.
At the same time, it should be said that the current situation in the aviation industry and its negative impact on the air pollution and the environment at large is, to a significant extent, determined by the development of the industry. In this respect, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that, in spite of the crisis in the aviation industry at the beginning of the century, in recent years the industry has demonstrated a strong trend to the growth. The aviation industry progresses considerably due to the increasing passenger flow and freight. It should be pointed out that the cargo aviation increases under the impact of the process of globalization, which contributed to the elimination of fiscal barriers between countries. As a result, the demand on the services of the cargo aviation has increased substantially because it could provide the possibility for the transportation of goods in a short period of time and at long distance. At any rate, the aviation has significant advantageous compared to other means of transportation.
Naturally, the development of the aviation industry and the growing demand on its services stimulated the increasing number of aircrafts and the increasing airport operations. In such a way, the growth of the aviation industry contributed to the increasing negative impact of the aviation industry on the environment pollution. In this respect, it is possible to distinguish major problems that disturb the public and specialist, the pollution of the air and the noise, which became the primary concerns of the contemporary aviation industry.
The protection of the environment
a. The decrease of aviation noise
Taking into consideration the major problems and impact of the aviation industry on the environment, the decrease of aviation noise became one of the priorities in the development of the contemporary aviation industry. The problem of the aviation noise in the result of airport operations and impact of the aviation industry is extremely disturbing for people living in the areas located next to airports. In this regard, it should be said that the contemporary aviation industry uses a dubious approach to the solution of this problem.
On the one hand, the regulations concerning the location of airports restrict considerably the functioning and positioning of airports. What is meant here is the fact that contemporary airports cannot be located in densely populated areas. At any rate, they should not interfere into the life of people and bother them with the noise, which naturally accompanies airport operations. Thus, the development of the contemporary aviation industry targets at the construction of airports which are remote from residential areas. In addition, the schedule of flights is supposed to be developed in accordance with the needs of the people that are living or working in areas that may be affected by the airport operations. In such a way, the problem of the aviation noise is eliminated or, at least minimized.
On the other hand, there is a different approach to the solution of the problem of the aviation noise. To put it more precisely, the contemporary aircraft manufacturers and aviation companies focus on the decrease of noisiness of aircrafts. This goals is basically achieved by means of introduction of new technologies which make engines and aircrafts at large less noisy and more environmentally friendly, causing less trouble to people that are affected by airport operation.
At the same time, it should be pointed out that the introduction of new technologies was determined not only by the benevolence of the aviation company but also by the introduction of strict regulations and standards by the state. In fact, the most developed countries of the world, including the US and leading European countries introduce high standards concerning the limitation of the aviation noise that naturally force aviation companies that operate in these countries to implement technological innovations in order to meet these standards. Otherwise, the access of aircrafts that do not meet the established standards is denied that means that the companies that do not meet these standards are doomed to lose markets of leading countries, which are the most profitable in the aviation industry.
b. The control of gas emission
Nevertheless, the emission of gases, such as CO2 and NOx still remain the major threat to the environment and air pollution. It should be pointed out that specialists (Sarkis, 1995) lay emphasis on the fact that it is the aviation industry that is, to a significant extent, one of the major factor that defines the destruction of the ozone layer. The latter deteriorates consistently the general environmental situation on the entire planet. In this respect, it should be said that the protection of the environment from the negative impact of the aviation industry is very important and the minimization of the emission of gases is one of the major priorities of the contemporary aviation industry.
In fact, the control of gas emission and the introduction of new technologies by aviation companies is also influenced by the state regulations. In fact, the regulations concerning the emission of gases have been introduced in many countries of the world, and similarly to aviation noise regulations, the strictest gas emission regulations are implemented in the most developed countries of the world, including the US and Europe. In such a way, aviation companies attempt to decrease the level of gas emission, polluting the atmosphere of the Earth in order to meet these standards.
In this respect, it should be pointed out that the contemporary aviation industry has reached considerable successes in the struggle for the minimization of pollutant gas emission. In actuality, contemporary fuel combustion in aircraft engines is efficient and jets exhausts are almost smoke free. However, there is a contrary trend, which is quite disturbing since pollutant emissions of aircrafts at the ground level are increasing with the airport movement. The latter, naturally poses a new challenges contemporary aviation companies should cope with.
At the same time, the success in the minimization of pollutant gas emissions may be viewed as an indicator of the possibility of the further improvement of the performance of aviation companies in regard to the environment protection.
c. Fiscal policy
As it has been mentioned above, the role of official regulations and introduction of new standards contribute consistently to the work of aviation companies targeting at the protection of the environment. In this respect, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that the role of the state is not limited by the introduction of limitations and regulations concerning noise and emissions of aircrafts. These regulations basically limit the access of the aircraft that does not meet established standards to airports of countries. In fact, these regulations may be viewed as indirect measures that affect the financial performance of aviation companies because, being deprived to access of the most developed countries, aviation companies naturally lose a substantial share of their profits and, what is more, they actually lose the most profitable markets since it is the US, Europe and Japan that are considered to be the most profitable and perspective countries for the operations of aviation companies, but, at same time, these countries have the most strict regulations.
However, the established regulations are supported not only by the limitation of the access of aircrafts to the countries, but it is also the fiscal policy of states that stimulates the introduction of new technologies which are more environmentally friendly. Basically, the current fiscal policies in the most developed states target at the minimization of the negative impact of aircrafts on the environment. To put it more precisely, the current fiscal policy basically targets to ensure airline companies pay for the pollution they cause, like other transport operators; encourage the development of more fuel-efficient aircrafts; help reduce the demand for air travel as other options become more competitive; and, finally, minimize the greenhouse effect in the result of airport operations (Williams, 2003).
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the development of the contemporary aviation industry is characterized by the growing focus on the protection of the environment. In this respect, it should be said that the cooperation between state and aviation companies is very important because the current successes, such as the decrease of the aviation noise and decrease of pollutant emissions, are the result of such cooperation.
Nevertheless, the current efforts of both officials and aviation companies are still insufficient to improve the situation considerably. At any rate, the pollution of environment still remains a serious problem and the aviation industry is still among the major polluters of the air and environment at large.
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