Introduction: Overview of the Four Pillars Concept
The aviation business plays a pivotal role in supporting the global economies and their activities. Air travel accounts for over 30 percent of the world's valuable goods, and 40% of tourists travel (Eriksson and Steenhuis 2016, p.7). The industry also makes up 10% of Africas employed population and contributes approximately 10 billion dollars to the GPD and 22 billion dollars in Latin Americas GPD (Eriksson and Steenhuis 2016, p.7). The aviation industry sizes up to four times in productivity in comparison to the entire economy (IATA 2010 p, 34). Despite this, the business faces one significant risk that affects world development and environmental policies. The carbon dioxide emissions issue is a challenge because of the atmospheric depletion it causes. It is for this reason that IATA revised the industrys vision in 2007 and laid down a four-pillar strategy to reduce the emissions (IATA and ICAO 2007, p.55). This includes:
Invest in new technology
The application of new technologies presents itself as the most productive way in reducing carbon emissions among planes (Flouris and Yilmaz 2011, p.147). Some of the significant changes introduced include new airplane designs, fused lightweight materials, engine improvements and the use of bio-fuels. Planes are designed to increase fuel efficiency by mounting winglets on the tips to reduce the fuel burn, advanced engines for improved airflow and combustion, and less energy-using lights. Statistics indicate that these changes have led to a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency.
Fly more efficiently
IATA also came up with five strategies to implement in increasing flight efficiency. The strategies targeted reducing fuel burn and the toxic emissions. They include measures like refining the airspace design, management of flights by using shorter routes, raising awareness on automated fuel management, and fast time simulation of CDAs and TMAs.
Build and use efficient infrastructure
Efficient infrastructure involves the special design of airports, facilities, and the continuous focus on Air Traffic Management abbreviated as ATM. Full implementation of suggested changes in the build and use of infrastructure is projected to increase airport efficiency and reduce toxic releases by four percent in 2020.
Use effective economic measures
Economy measures can be applied to fill the gap needed to ensure that emissions are maintained at a certain level. The expenditure for securing a total carbon-neutral growth is estimated at 1.6 trillion dollars by the year 2020. Therefore, the key industry players joined with the government can ease the process efficient operations. For example, by minimizing taxes and charges and designing a universal market that prevents passengers from facing multiple taxation layers. The government can also take part in ATM improvements, technological fund researches, and promote the production of sustainable biofuel.
Challenges Facing the Industry
Even though the airline industry is experiencing a rapid growth rate, companies still struggle to make record consistent profits. According to IATA airlines have doubled the growth of its revenue in the past decade making up to almost 750 billion US dollars. The low- cost carriers currently have a monopoly of approximately a quarter of the global market with all stakeholders in the value chain turning in profits. The irony is that these companies ranging from travel agencies, service companies, and engine makers record profits while airlines that do the transportation struggle to equal their expenses over their revenue. The struggle is attributed to the complexity of the business is attributed to regulation policies and the susceptibility of airlines to events such as security threats, natural disasters, and disease outbreaks. They also face the pressure to regulate their prices thus shifting their focus to top-line growth because getting profits become entirely dependent on revenue gains. Some of the biggest challenges faced by the aviation industry include increased consumer expectations, pressure to reduce costs, improving operational efficiency, a shifting landscape, and the environmental issue.
Environmental concerns affecting the industry
Just like all other forms of public transport, the aviation industry relies on a restricted planet resource system that cannot be considered sustainable in its current form. Unsustainability is as a result of the finite nature of natural resources like oil that drives the industry. The aviation sector has had an enormous impact on the environment because airplanes emit gasses after engine combustion, noise, and heat, elements that contribute to climate change. The rapid growth of travel by air has also contributed to an increased contribution to environmental depletion even though the IATA body has introduced regulations to increase efficiency in environmental management. The major areas affecting nature and contributing to its depletion include:
An estimated 8 million people travel by air on a daily basis, and the planes use at least 16 billion gallons of fuel annually. Airplanes release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses such as nitric oxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, and water vapor (Britain 2003, p.21). Other emissions include sulfate particles, burned hydrocarbon, hydroxyl, and soot. When carbon monoxide is released, its combines with water to form carbon dioxide, which further contributes to poisoning and increased global warming. Other sources of emissions include ground airport cars, staff and passenger vehicles, and energy production in airport buildings (Philander 20102, p.66). The growth in air travel also contributes to global emissions as much as the aviation body has made an attempt to introduce environment-friendly practices.
Dealing with climate change is a priority in this industry because it also has adverse effects on flying. Change in climate indicates a change in weather patterns. Severe ones like powerful winds, torrential rains, and storms profoundly affect the capacity and efficiency of travel. They also affect visibility making flying in such weather dangerous. Weather change also leads to shifting route patterns among airplanes leading to longer travel periods that increase fuel combustion and further contributes to environmental degradation. The process then becomes a vicious cycle because the more planes increase their routes' mileage, the further they pollute the environment, and the more weather patterns affect the flight paths. Changed patterns also lead to water shortage due to lack of rain which strains the airport development and service provision. Other issues like wind direction affect runways configuration, increasing the flight risk of accident landing.
Noise is a major environmental polluting factor and an issue of high concern, in particular among the public. Even though it does not have a lasting effect on the environment, individuals residing next to airports face challenges like communication interference, sleep interruption, and disturbance, learning acquisition, and performance effects. It also contributes to psychological and cardiovascular effects. The issue of noise and public disturbance is subjective, but the adversity remains relevant. The International Noise Model has been used to understand the concept of average noise levels (IATA 2001, p. 34). Computer programs simulate virtual aircraft operating procedures to create noise footprints. The process calculates the reach of certain noise levels to the airports surrounding environment while assuming weather conditions thus indicating the impact of noise.
Local air quality
The primary concern in air quality applicable to aviation relates to the immediate areas surrounding the airport. Most of the significant air emissions at the airports come from ground vehicles and operational plants or factories. The danger is elevated because of the increased level of activity at the airports with traveling growing numbers by the day. Due to this and the longevity of the aircraft service, it is projected that airports will most likely grow to be the most dominant source of air quality pollution. The engines also produce gasses that affect air at the ground level during departure and landing. Emissions such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons freely mix with the air and are dispersed by the wind to its environs causing the degradation of air quality.
Third party risk
The probability of airplane accidents is reduced particularly in local level around airports. Even so, plane accidents have posed several environmental hazards. First of all, the issue of planes disappearing and exploding while in space leads to combustion on a larger scale. The aircrafts fuel and other composite composition properties burn up to reduce toxic gasses and lead poisoning. Depending on the area of the explosion, the planes debris, together with its passengers may land on land or in water. Contact with the environment like water sources leads to poisoning, and people unaware of the effects consume the water or plant food in a contaminated area (Thomas 2011, p.45-51).
When an aircraft flies twelve kilometers above the ground, the passengers and its crew get exposed to cosmic rays. The rays are reported to be over ten times the quantity that the people left at the sea level experience. The occurrence of geomagnetic storms also allows solar events to reach the jetliner altitudes. This incidence places those flying along or close to the polar routes close to the geomagnetic poles susceptible to the risk of radiation exposure posing a threat to the physical well-being of the passengers and the crew.
Area of Analysis
The report will focus on the aviation industrys pillar concept of investing in new technology to increase efficiency in flight management. From the moment of conception, engineers are tasked with the responsibility of figuring out how to make aircraft more efficient. The aviation business is stated to be among the most advanced and innovative industries worldwide. Some of the key sectors that require technological advances for efficiency include engine production, fuel combustion, lighting and storage, and weight reduction (Nakamura and Suzuki 2012, p. 133). Unlike the land vehicles, aircraft usually carry all their fuel for the designated destination taking up a lot of space and adding a heavier load that limits an aircraft range.
The new designs introduced also take into consideration the environmental impact that aircraft have in increasing global warming and affecting climate change. The competence in performance is not only critical to the environment but also the financial status of airlines because they create room to cut on their operating costs. To drive change in this sector, all airline and aircraft production companies should adopt the new technologies invented by first-world engineers (Abu et.al. 2012, p. 23-34). Some of the innovative measures taken to improve efficacy include:
Use of geared turbofan engine
A Connecticut-based engineer introduced a radical approach to improving the function of the turbofan engines by adding a gear. His innovation was implemented and research indicates that it can reduce the fuel use by approximately 16% and cutting the operation costs by up to 20%. It also can weaken the noise levels, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by tons annually.
The engines produce thrust by removing the hot gases from their core and use their fans to introduce slower air around the engines exterior. The gradual air mixes with the hot gas hence increasing thrust. The improved engines improve the planes bypass ratio thus increasing...
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