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A Flight Student’s Guide to Aviation Sustainability

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In an age when the impacts of climate change become increasingly evident, it’s important to find ways to reduce carbon emissions for the greater good of the planet. Modern air travel presents challenges but aviation sustainability is possible.

In this guide, the experts at Leopard Aviation explain the various measures that can make the industry more sustainable. If you’re wondering how to become a commercial pilot in Arizona and improve aircraft efficiency, reach out to us today. We’ll help you achieve your goal of becoming a pilot with a focus on reducing the environmental impact of flying.

Importance of Sustainable Aviation

The aviation industry is responsible for so much more than getting passengers to their destinations for business or leisure. It creates millions of jobs around the globe, transports crucial cargo, and even provides military protection. The one downside of the industry is that it’s a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s why making aviation more energy-efficient and sustainable is vital. The government put a plan in place to reach net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Through the Aviation Climate Action Plan and market-based measures, the sector can retain its influence without leaving such a harmful environmental impact.

How can aircraft manufacturers and industry leaders reduce emissions? The following steps promote aviation sustainability so we can protect the planet without losing any of the benefits the global aircraft fleet provides.

Use Sustainable Aviation Fuels

It’s hard to make the aviation industry more efficient when modern aircraft release carbon dioxide into the air every time they take off. To reduce fuel burn, experts suggest switching to sustainable aviation fuel. Standard aviation fuel comes from fossil fuel sources while sustainable aviation fuels don’t, and therefore don’t release any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

Hydrogen is leading the way as an energy-efficient fuel that is still powerful enough to transport passengers, flight crews, and cargo to their destinations. By using hydrogen rather than carbon-based fuels, fleets can drastically cut global emissions.

Research is ongoing since fuel storage poses a challenge. As long as airlines keep their commitment to using sustainable aviation fuels, planes will no longer contribute the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric Propulsion Systems

The industry is still in the early stages of making a propulsion system electric. With improvements, planes won’t need to haul large batteries and can even reduce fuel burn during takeoff and while increasing the plane’s altitude. It’s possible that smaller planes will adopt this method while large aircraft may utilize a hybrid system.

Focus on Aircraft Efficiency

Companies across the aviation industry are noticing their customers are committed to using airlines that support sustainable aviation. Through initiatives that focus on aircraft design improvements, manufacturers can satisfy their customers and help the environment.

What are some of the changes that promote aviation sustainability? Manufacturers have the following goals in mind:

  • Making aircraft lighter and more aerodynamic
  • Building engines that are more efficient
  • Creating new technology that improves flight performance

Each innovation that comes from manufacturing companies impacts the future of the aviation sector. Even changes that seem small at first can end up having a massive global impact, given the thousands of planes in the worldwide fleet.

Improvements in Operations and Infrastructure

It’s not just manufacturers that play a role in making the industry more sustainable. Air traffic controllers, flight crews, and other personnel should deploy their own initiatives to improve operations and make them more sustainable. Finding ways to use less energy on the ground will cut industry emissions and make a major difference in the years to come.

Computer simulations and field testing are great ways to identify areas of improvement and make the necessary changes. These findings don’t have to be elaborate, either. Something as simple as recycling all beverage cans flight attendants distribute during a flight will reduce cabin waste.

Current Obstacles the Industry Faces

Aviation sustainability takes time and effort to fully achieve. While experts have a good idea of the ways they can carry out an airline’s commitment to sustainability, changes won’t happen overnight. Some measures, like changes to a propulsion system and the use of different fuels, require further testing before major roll-outs can begin.

Until these changes take place, planes around the globe will continue to release greenhouse gas emissions at an alarming rate. Thankfully, technology keeps advancing and makes it possible for experts to find efficient solutions to many industry obstacles. Remaining committed to these initiatives can help limit the environmental impact of flying modern aircraft.

Learn the Ins and Outs of the Aviation Industry Through Flight School

At Leopard Aviation, we teach our students about visual flight rules, aircraft mechanics, and everything else that has to do with flying safely. We value aviation sustainability and want our students committed to a future where air travel isn’t as harmful to the environment. Get started with our flight school by calling (480) 372-9815 today.

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