Air transport is a strategic sector for the development of the world economy, as it plays a key role in today’s logistics chains, connectivity between people and countries, and investment.
It is estimated that around 6 million tons of cargo are transported. In fact, Boeing (the world’s largest supplier of aircraft and satellites) shared its forecast for cargo transportation through 2041, and traffic is expected to double and the cargo fleet to expand by more than 60% in 19 years.
With this rapid growth, sustainability is a key issue in this sector, as aviation alone produces around 2% of the greenhouse gases caused by human activity and 3% when other polluting gases are included.
But it is not just the volume of these emissions that is causing concern, but their increase, as improvements in energy efficiency are not offsetting the growth in air traffic.
Sustainable air transport: How to make it possible?
Today more than ever, the air transport industry faces a major challenge to gradually reduce its carbon footprint, while continuing to facilitate and drive trade, investment and economic growth. But how exactly is this objective achieved?
We’ll tell you about it below!
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
FFS are different types of fuels that are characterized by their zero or low carbon footprint, a feature that makes them one of the main solutions for the decarbonization of the aviation sector.
Depending on the raw materials used, PBS can be divided into two groups:
- Biojet (biofuel): these are made from raw materials of biological origin, such as animal fats, biomass, vegetable oils and various types of waste.
- E-jet (synthetic fuel): these are produced with CO₂ removed from the atmosphere and industry and renewable hydrogen as the only raw materials.
The introduction of new technologies in the global fleet, either by designing new aircraft or retrofitting older aircraft with artificial intelligence (AI), can help to reduce the climate impact of operations, given that will allow more accurate scheduling of landings and takeoffs and reduce delays that hold aircraft on the runway. All this thanks to its incredible ability to observe patterns and analyze billions of flight records.
Although this last proposal includes the use of electric motors, there is still a long way to go before we can see an electric airplane in the sky, since the issue is centered on battery technology, which despite having evolved with the use of lithium ion, the weight and power of the batteries limit their use in short duration flights and light aircrafts.
However, its development will be essential to expand the use of clean energy and thus replace the fossil fuel industry.
Nature is certainly sending us clear signals that we must act now. That is why we support and promote all strategies aimed at sustainability and care for the only planet we have available.