Aviation and the Environment: Farnborough International Airshow 2016

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The Farnborough International Airshow is a week-long aerospace and defence trade exhibition. This video is a collection of interviews at the 2016 airshow around the topics of greening aviation and Brexit.

We asked industry experts from United Technologies, Boeing, and CleanSky about the importance of increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing noise in commercial aviation and the impact of policy and politics on the industry.


When it comes to noise, when it comes to efficiency, when it comes to new airplane development, good environmental policy is good business.

Innovation in aviation is vital for Europe. It’s vital because of the societal challenges, particularly the impact of aviation on the environment. So innovation helps us drive down noise from aircraft, reduce fuel burn and hence CO2 and global warming.

Airplanes today are quieter than they were 20 years ago and airplanes 20 years from now will be much quieter. I think this is the direction we’re headed. We’re going to become more fuel efficient as an industry. We’re going to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. And we’ll find ways to make quieter and quieter airplanes.

We’re immensely concerned about the greening of aviation for political reasons, for humanity and for economics. Since the first commercial jet airplanes, we’ve reduced the fuel burn, which is the CO2, by about 70%. And I think we’re about halfway to where we can get to. So we can do as much going forward as we’ve achieved in the entire history of commercial jet travel.

At ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, they’re negotiating right now as we speak on a market based measure to cover the whole world’s aviation. We look forward to unity on that and strongly support ICAO moving forward.

When we look at the ICAO standard, the important thing there is that it takes the uncertainty out of our business. It helps provide a more certain environment, so it provides design targets for us and targets for our customers to meet. So I think that’s good. With the Brexit potentially happening, frankly, aviation policy in the UK is in question. What does it mean? What will be the rules moving forward? We just don’t know that. And while the ICAO perspective brought certainty to the market, which is good; changes in policy – that have been focused on growing this market, allowing it to become more efficient, allowing it to be more global in nature – anything that gets in the way of that, we’re concerned about.

At Pratt & Whitney, it’s not just about green products that reduce CO2 and NOx and noise, but it’s also about efficient factories. Our new facilities are all LEED-certified. We have very strict and challenging requirements from the parent corporation for reducing power, reducing water, reducing waste. 2025 is our 100th anniversary and we’re looking to eliminate all solid waste out of our factories and we’re looking at making a commitment to have, basically, the greenest products on the planet.


Life Terra

Funded by the LIFE Programme of the EU

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