Can Flying Be Completely Sustainable?

Flying is an inevitable part of life. Several businesses and most of the tourism industry heavily rely on the aviation sector to ensure safe journeys. From the very first plane ever made to the high technology ones like Boeing, the facilities have tremendously increased along with the demand for new features and numerous flights. However, each journey takes a massive toll on the environment due to the immense amount of fuel needed to power the vehicle. From greenhouse gas emissions to materials extracted from the earth to make the body of the plane, the negative impacts of this manner of travel are countless.

The good news is that there are many ongoing efforts to make aviation more sustainable. One key area of focus is technology, particularly with respect to developing more efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft. Advances in propulsion technology such as electric and hybrid-electric engines, as well as sustainable aviation fuels, can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of aviation. For example, electric planes could produce zero carbon emissions during flight, while sustainable aviation fuels can reduce emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel.

However, the development and deployment of new aircraft technologies is not enough to make aviation sustainable. Infrastructure and operations also need to be considered. Sustainable infrastructure can include the use of renewable energy sources to power airports, air traffic management systems, and other ground operations. Additionally, sustainable operations can involve optimizing flight routes, reducing single-use plastics on planes, and improving ground operations.

While sustainable aviation fuel is a promising solution, its production still poses challenges. The production of sustainable aviation fuel is currently limited, and it is more expensive than traditional jet fuel. Scaling up production and reducing costs will be essential to making it a viable solution for the industry. Another challenge to achieving sustainable aviation is the growth of the industry itself. As the world becomes more connected and people continue to travel, the demand for air travel is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades. Balancing this growth with sustainability will require significant innovation and collaboration between industry stakeholders. Furthermore, sustainable aviation must consider the social and economic impacts of the industry, particularly with respect to equity and access. Sustainable aviation must not only reduce the environmental impact of aviation but also ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable air travel.

There are many sustainable travel options available that can help reduce the environmental impact of travel like walking instead of taking a car, or even carpooling. Choosing sustainable travel options can not only help reduce carbon emissions but also promote sustainable tourism and support local communities. So the next time you choose to travel somewhere abroad or far away, think of ways the company could have saved the Earth, could be reducing some unnecessary accessories/facilities inside the flight or could also just be the brand you choose to travel with. Small changes would make a big difference.