Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has released a new report that shows the aviation sector's journey on a systematic energy efficiency programme to reduce its climate impact.
Titled 'Aviation Climate Solutions', the report highlights the measures undertaken by the industry to meet the goals it has set through a climate action framework announced at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in 2008.
The major areas of climate action undertaken in the sector include the development of alternative fuels, operational efficiencies such as using lighter equipment on board and taking-off, flying and landing in smarter ways, the development of new technology, both entirely new aircraft and components, and systematic changes in airspace and navigation.
ATAG executive director Michael Gill said: "The case studies show the wide variety of climate action across the sector. Carbon emissions reduction projects by over 400 organisations in 65 countries are represented. But this is only a snapshot of the projects underway.
"The most impressive realisation is the sheer amount of collaboration between industry partners, helping to drive efficiency. Action is taking place in all parts of the world, not only at large organisations, but also through partners in emerging economies. The sector is more than meeting its goal of a 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency per year."
According to the report, more than 100 airports across the world have invested in solar power, which has been contributing to its energy needs.
Airlines are investing huge amounts to pre-purchase sustainable alternative aviation fuels, which are currently being used by nearly 2,000 commercial flights globally. In addition, using wingtip devices in 8,300 in-service aircraft has saved around 56 million tonnes of CO² in the last 15 years.
Airlines have been adopting other measures such as light weighting with the shift to slim line seats in addition to carbon-fibre food service trolleys and lighter cargo and baggage containers.
The report also highlights the new technological advancements in the industry such as 'performance-based navigation' which has been enhancing air navigation in remote parts of the world minimising the CO² emission each year across the fleet.
Climate change is a major challenge for the entire transport industry. With the number of flights set to increase in future, CO² emissions are set to slowly rise forcing the industry to take steps to curb its emissions.