The biggest environmental problem with the airline industry is obviously that of fuel emissions. Currently engineers are working on airplanes and airplane engines that are more fuel efficient as well as eco-friendly. Also, there is the issue of disposable plastic waste generated by the industry’s food and beverage services, and measures can be taken by the individual passenger to cut down on these wastes.
The best way would be to have planes run on something other than fossil fuels, but the technology for this is a long way off. In the meantime, we can install more efficient jet engines, which allow a plane to fly further on less fuel, thereby reducing carbon emissions. The company Pratt & Whitney has developed a Geared turbofan that does exactly this. The industry is adopting a strong initiative to have the geared turbofan installed on their planes, and it’s expected to be in wide use by 2013.
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