At the recent Aviation & Environment Summit, held in Geneva on April 25-26, 2006, Airbus reiterated its commitment towards environmental care and took the opportunity of the sector's annual forum to share its views on ways to improve and harmonise efforts of the aviation sector in relation to the worldâ€™s environment.
Air travel today has become vital both economically and socially to our modern world. Some 29 million jobs are directly or indirectly related to the aviation industry and the whole sector contributes to as high as 8 per cent of the world's GDP. Airbus is committed to ensuring that air travel continues to be one of the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly means of transportation.
"Airbus is continuously working with its customers and suppliers to reduce the impact of aviation on the worldâ€™s environment by means of applying advanced and tested technology, more efficient operations and an increased awareness. The use of advanced materials leading to lighter aircraft, better aerodynamics, improved systems and advanced engines result in lower fuel burn and less noise. The A380 is a clear example of that," said Airbus Executive Vice President Christian Scherer, speaking at the conference in a panel discussing about "Insights from Inside." The panel highlighted the past remarkable records achieved by the air transport sector and emphasized the real facts regarding its impact on the environment, by opposition to the myths regularly developed against it.
Taking into account that the aviation sector represents only two percent of total man-made CO2 emissions (responsible for climate change), reducing air traffic is not a solution to the sustainable development of our world. Indeed, reducing air traffic by 50 percent would result in decreased CO2 emissions of only one percent while negatively impacting GDP by four percent.
Environmental impact from the aeronautical industry can be further limited through intelligent research and development of aircraft, a path Airbus has followed since its very first aircraft.
Other efforts can also contribute to a reduced impact on the environment. Speaking on the subject of "Saving Fuel, CO2 and costs," Philippe Jarry, Airbus Senior Vice President Product Policy, explained: "Flying shortest distances possible between destinations, reducing congestion around airports and increasing efficient use of aircraft are areas that the industry is working on jointly. The contribution of the A380 to airport congestion and noise and emission reductions is an example widely recognised by airlines and airports around the world. The modern Airbus fleet benefits from the application of new and proven technology on next generation aircraft, leading to overall reduced fuel burn per seat."
Also present with a dedicated booth at the exhibition, Airbus was present to answer the delegates' specific questions on Airbus environmental performance, not only on the products it designs, sells, manufactures, delivers and supports but also on the way the company handles all associated industrial processes.
Targeting the corporate certification to the international environmental standard ISO 14001 by 2006 end, Airbus is once again setting the standards, by including the product itself in the implementation of its environmental management system, through a streamlined life-cycle approach.