19 March 2008
The European air travel industry is now in a state of rapid transition and development. It is documented that there are now more than 130 airlines in operation catering to nearly 450 airports and to service increasing demands in this sector. It is seen that this industry has witnessed a three fold increase during the period 1980 – 2000 and is all set to double by the year 2020. (Fast Facts. The air transport industry in Europe has united to present its key facts and figures. 2003). During 1978, the US Government passed the de-regulation of airlines by which the Government monopoly over the airlines was significantly reduced and the airlines were exposed to competition both within and outside the country. The role of the CAB, the Civil Aviation Board, tried to bring about changes in the way industry handled airlines by reducing the fares on short haul flight and at the same time increasing the fares on long haul flights to offset losses. Changes in Climatic conditions:
It has been documented that air travel makes a gradually increasing contribution to climate, and in the UK alone, it contributes to nearly 6.3% of the total carbon dioxide (C02 emissions). In line with the goal, UK carbon emissions would reduce from 152.2 million tones in 2000 to 65.8 million tones in 2050. Within that total, domestic aviation emissions rise from 0.8 to 1.6 million. This means that in 2050 domestic aviation would represent 2.4 per cent of UK carbon emissions. (Air transport white paper Progress report 2006). It is believed that one of the greatest sources of carbon emission is from the fuels burned during air flights. (Environment and Greener Living). This alters the delicate mechanism of climate control and by release of these greenhouse gases, the climate of the world becoming warmer. Air travel makes a growing contribution to CO2 emissions and currently accounts for 6.3 per cent of the UK total. The full climate impact of aviation goes beyond the effects of CO2 emissions alone, although there is still considerable scientific uncertainty about the scale of the impact of these effects. Direxctgov: Environment and Greener Living: The cause of climate change. (Environment and Greener Living: Air Travel and the Environment). The situation has become so grim that it has become necessary to impose monetary penalties on the carbon dioxide emissions made by airlines of EU countries. EU airlines must join the emissions trading scheme in 2012, which could add up to £13 to the price of a return flight as carriers buy "carbon credits.” (Milmo 2008). The noise pollution caused by aircrafts in the wake of deregulation is that more and more aircrafts are taxing in and out of major airports. This creates increased noise pollution not only to the employees in the airports, but also to the residents living near airports. “Containing noise has become a major challenge for air traffic.” (Air Travel and the Environment: Finding a Balance: Reducing noise. Environmental impacts and technical solutions. P.4). It has been acknowledged even by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) That the movements of large number of aircrafts along international skies are directly responsible for climate changes. This is due to the release of greenhouse gases, which are emitted by the flying aircrafts, which adds to global warming. The smoke trails left behind flying aircrafts contain oxides of nitrogen, water vapour that could cause condensation trails (contrails) and cirrus clouds. (.Air transport white paper Progress report 2006).
The main problem regarding nitrogen oxides emission which is seen as a major contributor for emissions could be controlled on a national basis, but this may not be possible on a global basis, since it could not be possibly to allocate emissions from international flights on a local basis, due to the large number of flights that take place in the now...