28 Oct Making aviation more environmentally friendly
Making aviation more environmentally friendly
Flying connects people, cultures and countries and enables us to cross borders. But we pay a high price for our dream of flying come true.
A fully loaded aircraft with luggage and a small amount of cargo in the hold, fully fuelled for the flight – this cannot go hand in hand without consuming a lot of energy. Unfortunately, this is not yet possible without emissions. Aircraft produce greenhouse gases, noise and air pollutants. In addition to the emission of CO2, it is above all the emission of nitrogen oxides and the generation of contrails and the associated change in cloud formation that have a detrimental effect on the climate. The special thing about flying: it happens at high altitudes. There, many substances have a completely different effect than near the earth’s surface. Studies by various institutions come to the conclusion that the share of CO2 emissions from aviation in global CO2 emissions is about 3.5 per cent.
The industry is aware of these fatal consequences and there is no question that aviation must become more sustainable in times of climate change. Nevertheless, aviation is an essential part of today’s functioning global economy. Current studies assume that the volume of transport and passengers in the aviation sector will grow strongly in the coming years and thus also the relevance of aviation to the environmental impacts in the transport sector. It is therefore also a fact that hardly any other industrial sector has set itself such ambitious goals as air transport. The European Union wants to make air traffic climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve this so-called Clean Aviation, aeroplanes should not only be fuelled with bio-kerosene. New aircraft generations are also already in the starting blocks – sustainably produced, with reusable components and powered by electricity or hydrogen.
So the obvious problem catches the eye right away. But inextricably linked to this are the services around the aircraft, which can also make a positive contribution to more sustainable aviation. Not only aircraft operators, but also service providers can reduce the ecological footprint. Compared to long development cycles of sustainable fuel, this goal can be achieved well in the short term.
CO2 emissions can also be further reduced and optimized in ground handling. Every ride of the passenger bus or towing vehicle means CO2 emissions, air pollution and noise. Through optimized route planning, however, ideally fewer vehicles can travel shorter distances. More and more airports are also turning to vehicles with electric and hybrid drives. In addition, parked aircraft switch off their auxiliary power units for power supply on the ground and use a ground power unit through mobile gensets. In many places, these are already powered by solar energy. Moreover, the goal of a circular economy is already being tackled by many. Over time, procurement and transport costs of new materials, dependence on third parties and costs for energy and disposal of waste decrease.
How we at Primus Aero are contributing to more sustainable aviation
Primus Aero is also aware of its responsibility. For some years now, our company car fleet has been purely electric. Currently, our fleet includes more than 10 electrically powered vehicles, which means that the CO2 emissions of our team members are zero. But even for products that do not necessarily have to do with our main business, we pay attention to regionality and short delivery routes. We buy Christmas presents for our customers from local producers, for example, and make sure that they use plastic-free packaging wherever possible. The same applies to print media, promotional gifts, business cards and notepads from our company.
But our biggest project is still to come: we are moving! Our new offices are much more energy-efficient and sustainably equipped. The building is a replica of the Saubermacher AG office complex. The climate-friendly headquarters brought the austrian company the State Prize for Environmental and Energy Technology in 2012.
In summary, it can be said that international air transport still has some challenges ahead of it until CO2-neutral flying is achieved. SAF, the gamechanger for many, is currently hardly available and up to nine times more expensive than paraffin from fossil sources. But almost all airlines are convinced of its future potential – so it is only a matter of time. However, attention should not only be paid to the further development of aircraft. Smaller investments can also cause big changes. After all, small steps are also steps in the right direction.