Aviation contributes to 13% of total UK emissions. However, with the number of people choosing aeroplanes as a convenient means of transport, this percentage is set to increase. To find out more about aviation, please visit enviroaero.
Now that we know this, should we still opt to fly? I’m sure there are a few eco-warriors who will answer this question with a resounding “NO” but, generally speaking, if Joe Bloggs had the opportunity to take a week off work, I’m 90% sure he would rather fly to some tropical island than traipse around rainy England. Whilst realistically we cannot persuade people to stop flying abroad, we can campaign for our airports to be as ecologically aware as possible.
One airport which has embraced the NATS ecological initiative is Luton airport. On the 12th May 2008, Luton switched from their standard airfield buses to the new eco-friendly COBUS 3000. Such buses are able to carry up to 112 passengers whereas their standard buses could only transport around 50 passengers. As well as being safer, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and efficient, the buses are made from aluminium, an eco-friendly, self-maintaining, recyclable material that will endure transporting passengers and luggage for over 25 years. Luton airport plans to make a total replacement programme for all transportation vehicles. Other eco-friendly airports include the East Midlands Airport, voted the most eco-friendly airport in the world on the 12th of October 2007.
When flying abroad, you can reduce your carbon-footprint by travelling to the airport via public transport and by reducing the amount of luggage you take with you. If you really want to make a difference, you can be a part of the Carbon offsetting scheme.
Although we should advocate alternative means of transport, rather than solely campaigning to dissuade people from travelling abroad, we should draw the aviation industry’s attention to the changes that they can make to reduce their carbon-footprint.