What I Heard at the 2016 Global Sustainable Aviation Forum

Posted on May 18, 2016

I recently visited Montreal to attend the 2016 Global Sustainable Aviation Forum, hosted by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and its partners. It was a great opportunity for me to engage with the aviation industry’s ongoing commitment to tackle climate change.

In a nutshell, below are some of my top takeaways. You can read more here.

  • Every day, 9.8 million passengers take 104,000 flights carrying $18.6 billion worth of goods.
  • The global air transport industry supports almost 63 million jobs worldwide and contributes $2.7 trillion to global GDP, equivalent to 3.5% of GDP
  • Over nine billion tons of CO2 have been avoided since 1990 through a combination of new technology, operational efficiencies and infrastructural improvements.
  • Civil aerospace spends $15 billion per year on efficiency-related R&D.

Commercial air travel shows no sign of slowing down – in fact, the number of airplanes in service is expected to double by 2030. Our challenge is how we grow the industry sustainably and it was great to hear solutions by those in attendance in Montreal.

There are exciting new advancements with aviation technology that will lower carbon emissions, like our Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan jet engine that changes everything with a breakthrough 16% reduction in fuel burn, a 50% reduction in particulate emissions and a 75% reduction in noise footprint. The conference also examined possibilities on the horizon, like the potential for biofuels to further reduce the greenhouse gas impact of aviation. All of this is against the backdrop of the newly proposed UN International Civil Aviation Organization measures to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation.

UTC is uniquely positioned to help the industry do just that – with green technologies, green products in service and green manufacturing practices. We believe that green aviation can start here, and that it is not just an option, but an imperative.

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