Image: ESB Professional – Shutterstock.

Airbus has much to be proud of as it paves the way for sustainability and halves the noise footprint; and with excellent green credentials.

The aviation industry has pledged to halve its net CO2 emissions by 2050. Some commentators say 2050 is too late and they are pushing for radical change by 2030. Change has to start somewhere and Airbus is not behind schedule to start this progress.

The Airbus A321 for sustainable fuel

In 2015, Airbus confirmed its commitment to sustainable development by opening a final assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama. This factory was the first of its kind to adopt a green production line, focused on recycling and reuse whenever possible.

At the same time, Airbus has expanded its aircraft deliveries, using sustainable jet fuel blends with the 50 A320 Family aircraft supplied to Delta Air Lines in 2019. Airbus is offering this option as part of its strategy to promote the regular use of sustainable fuels in the aviation industry.

In the long term, the company also plans to support industrial production of sustainable aviation fuels around the world by using sustainable fuel blends. Airbus’ first delivery with this technology went to JetBlue Airways, which received an A321 loaded with 15% sustainable jet fuel in September 2018

Airbus, a commitment to environmental protection

Airbus A320. Image: Cait Eire – Shutterstock.

Airbus promises to decarbonize its planes, towards a more sustainable future for generations to come. Take a more responsible approach to the aircraft life cycle and source responsibly throughout the supply chain to create a path to cleaner, more sustainable flights

All of these things are laudable and undoubtedly constitute an urgent commitment for future generations of air travelers. The consumer is more and more aware of the need to reduce carbon emissions and therefore tends to be aware of those who are winning the battle to save the planet. All manufacturers would do well to follow the leadership of Airbus.

Airbus reminds us that significant progress has been made in reducing environmental impact since the first generation of commercial aircraft. Fuel and CO2 have been reduced by over 80% per kilometer.

In addition, NOx emissions have been reduced by 90% and noise emissions by 75%. Right now, the aerospace community is exceeding its first goal of achieving an average annual energy efficiency of 2.1% over the past decade.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury does not hesitate to put things in perspective by noting that Airbus has avoided generating more than 10 billion tonnes of CO2 since 1990 thanks to a combination of new technologies, operational efficiency and infrastructure improvements; which include a $ 1 trillion investment in more than 12,000 new aircraft since 2009.

Compensation program

Image: Olivier Le Moal – Shutterstock.

What are the different mitigation actions to reduce CO2 emissions? A key element concerns the 2016 international civil aviation organization agreement. This agreement involves the aviation industry and its commitment to work with governments and civil society to implement the first mandatory sectoral measures through the world. World to offset the growth of international aviation and the increase in CO2 emissions beyond 2020.

Guillaume Faury reminds us that a lot has been accomplished since his beginnings 50 years ago. But with the global fleet, it looks like it could double in the next 25 years, requiring a joint effort to cover all bases and support the planet.

Featured Strategy

Airbus A380. Image: vaalaa – Shutterstock.

Airbus advisers say there are three major technological developments leading to sustainable aviation and these are the following:

Continue to develop the design and technology of airplanes and engines in search of improvements in energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions

Support the commercialization of sustainable and alternative aviation fuels. Including more funding for the technology to deliver alternative fuels on a timely basis.

A commitment to the development of radically new technologies for aircraft and propulsion as well as acceleration technologies that will enable a “third generation” in aviation.

Guillaume Faury issued a call to action and we can only hope that others will follow. Airbus is the first to receive ISO14001 certification for sustainability across all of its services, sites and products, declaring that its famous “We Make It Fly” line is ready to be replaced by “We Make It Fly, Sustainably”.