Airline emissions 'far higher than previous estimates'
An unpublished study by the world's leading experts has revealed that airlines are pumping 20 per cent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than estimates suggest, with total emissions set to reach between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion tonnes annually by 2025.
( image of B17 contrails, from Aerospaceweb.org)
The report, by four government-funded research bodies, is one of the most authoritative estimates of the growth of pollutants produced by the industry.
It was presented to a conference co-organised by the United States' Federal Aviation Authority but not given a wider audience.
Combining data produced by the leading emissions-modelling laboratories in the US, Britain and France, the study found that the number of people seriously affected by aircraft noise will rise from 24 million in 2000 to 30.3 million by 2025, despite the introduction of quieter jets, and that the amount of nitrogen oxides around airports, produced by aircraft engines, will rise from 2.5 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.1 million tonnes in 2025.
Jeff Gazzard, a spokesman for the Aviation Environment Federation, the group that uncovered the report, said:
"Growth of CO2 emissions on this scale will comfortably outstrip any gains made by improved technology and ensure aviation is an even larger contributor to global warming by 2025 than previously thought.
Governments must take action to put a cap on air transport's unrestrained growth."
The report, "Trends in Global Noise and Emissions From Commercial Aviation for 2000 through 2025" (Document), was presented last year to the USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Seminar in Barcelona but withheld from wider publication. (image of Jeff Gazzard, from Eurocontrol.int)