A key issue on the minds of aviation leaders in Europe is the environment.
It is not well known that aviation contributes well under 3 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions; and that airports are responsible for a small fraction of that. What is also not well known, even so, are the efforts the entire aviation community has made to reduce emissions, noise and other environmental impacts. Indeed, the environmental progress made by aviation over the past several years is astounding. And I am convinced that rising fuel prices will induce even greater efficiencies.
I understand the view that we must continue to make progress. I concur, and I know the industry will continue to make progress. What I do not understand is the view of some who equate progress with the reduction or elimination of air service. There is some mainstream opinion in Europe that has mooted the possibility of exactly that. They view the growth of air service as a bad thing. I cannot agree.
The worldwide aviation industry is committed to furthering the environmental progress we have made on all fronts. There is perhaps no other industry that has made the progress made by aviation in the past couple of decades. But we are not resting on our laurels. A joint statement issued recently by the world’s airports, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and air navigation providers commits the industry to further progress. If you want to know what we’ve done as North American airports go to our web site, www.aci-na.org, and look at out publication “Going Green.” If you want to learn more about what the global industry has done, go to www.enviro.aero.
I will be writing more about this subject in the days and weeks ahead. It is important, it is something we take very seriously, and I look forward to hearing your views.