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Europe hails small victories in the green campaign

21 February 2019
Austro Control developed and implemented navigation procedures to reduce noise and emissions at Salzburg Airport (pictured). Source: Getty Images

As flight volumes and passenger numbers continue their upward trajectory, it is becoming even harder to make a discernible difference in reducing the environmental impact of aviation

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in co-operation with the European Environment Agency and Eurocontrol, issued the second European Aviation Environmental Report (EAER) on January 24. It provided an updated assessment of the environmental performance of the aviation sector since the first report in 2016.

The continued growth of the sector has produced economic benefits and connectivity within Europe, and is stimulating investment in novel technology. However, it is recognised that the climate change, noise, and air quality effects of aviation are increasing.

Significant resources are being invested at EU and member state level, as well as by industry, to address this environmental challenge. Although the EAER notes improvements in terms of technology, operations, airports, and market-based measures, the report says their combined effect has not kept pace with the recent strong growth in the demand for air travel, thereby leading to an overall increase in the environmental impact of aviation.

Demand dampens green success

The number of flights in Europe increased by 8% between 2014 and 2017, and the forecast is for a 42% increase between 2017 and 2040. The EAER states that overall environmental impacts from aviation have increased by 10% for CO 2 , 12% for NO X, and 14% for noise since 2014. In the 2017–40 timeframe, aircraft CO 2 emissions are predicted to increase by 21% and NO X emissions by 16%. The number of airports that handle more than 50,000 annual aircraft movements is expected to increase from 82 in 2017 to 110 in 2040, meaning that aviation noise may affect new populations in the future.

Long-term exposure to aircraft noise is linked with numerous health effects, including ischaemic heart disease, sleep disturbance, annoyance, and cognitive impairment.

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RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • POITIERS BIARD

    PIS/LFBI AIRFIELD REF PT.: N46 35.15 E000 18.24 ELEVATION : 423' 129m CFR : 5 MAX RWY LENGTH : 7,710' 2,350 m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 03/21, 7,710' 2,350 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 44 F/C/W/T. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 03R/21L, 2,297' 700 m, width 148' 60 m, grass, Rwy 03L/21R,

  • HORTA

    HOR/LPHR AIRFIELD REF PT.: N38 31.19 W028 42.95 ELEVATION : 118' 36m CFR : 6 MAX RWY LENGTH : 5,233' 1,595m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 10/28, 5,233' 1,595 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : None. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 10: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2, PAPI.Rwy 28: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2,

  • PICO

    PIX/LPPI AIRFIELD REF PT.: N38 33.16 W028 26.29 ELEVATION : 109' 33m CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : 5,725' 1,745m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 09/27 Twy, 5,725' 1,745 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 80 F/B/W/T. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : None. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 09: LIRL, PAPI.Rwy 27: LIRL, ALSF-2,

  • SANTA MARIA

    SMA/LPAZ AIRFIELD REF PT.: N36 58.28 W025 10.24 ELEVATION : 308' 94m CFR : 7 MAX RWY LENGTH : 10,000' 3,048m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 18/36, 10,000' 3,048 m, width 197' 60 m, concrete. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 15/33, 6,004' 1,830 m; Rwy 04/22, 4,345' 1,324 m; both asphalt; both closed.

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