Net-Zero Emission Flights: An Industry PriorityBy Sofía Hanna | Tue, 03/08/2022 - 16:40
Net-zero emission flights are becoming one of the main objectives of the aerospace industry, which expects to achieve this goal by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5° C. To succeed, airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, governments and manufacturers have to join efforts.
Achieving this goal by 2050 requires a combination of 65 percent sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), 13 percent new technology involving electric or hydrogen-powered flights, 3 percent infrastructure and operational efficiencies and 19 percent offsets and carbon capture, according to IATA. Major planemakers Airbus and Boeing have begun to incorporate these percentages into their future development plans.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Boeing achieved net-zero manufacturing and worksites in 2020 by expanding conservation and renewable energy use while tapping responsible offsets for greenhouse gas emission management. Its latest achievement was the largest purchase to date of SAFs for commercial airplane operations, which “is an immediate solution that will help achieve our industry’s long term commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality and through this agreement, we will reduce our own carbon footprint and have a SAF supply available for customer deliveries and our own operations,” said Sheila Remes, Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Boeing. The company also committed to deliver commercial airplanes that are capable and certified to fly on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.
Airbus also made it a priority to reach net-zero emissions flights in part through its initiative ZEROe, which involves the launch of the world’s first zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035. Other promising areas include electric flights that provide insight on serial hybrid-electric propulsion. Airbus is also developing hydrogen technology, which emits no CO2 emissions and enables renewable energy to potentially power large aircraft over long distances. Finally, the company is studying solar flights, which could be possible using advanced photovoltaic solar panels that are lighter, more flexible and capable of capturing more energy per square meter while harnessing solar energy into a rechargeable energy storage system.
Sustainability, net-zero flights and other megatrends will continue to disrupt the aerospace sector. Find more about them in Mexico Aerospace Forum 2022, an online event that will take place on April 27-29 hosted by Mexico Business. Mexico Aerospace Forum 2022 will bring to the table industry leaders and decision makers from numerous sectors of the aviation and aerospace industries. To buy a ticket, click on the banner!
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