View Full Version : Big Cuts Urged in Aviation Growth

23rd Sep 2005, 03:13
Don't know if this link is elsewhere on Pprune, but it is interesting reading nevertheless.

British scientists urge big cut in aviation growth to avoid dangerous climate change (http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/FuelCellToday/IndustryInformation/IndustryInformationExternal/NewsDisplayArticle/0,1602,6505,00.html)

I Love This Show
23rd Sep 2005, 03:44
Its all there in black and white in the report - alternative energy.
It seems a shame to waste all that wind going past the plane as it flies, so how about putting a few windmills on the things, which will generate stacks of 'green' power := :} :rolleyes:

23rd Sep 2005, 03:54
when is someone going to tell these green idiots that CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It is actually a naturally occuring byproduct of trees breathing during the day (O2 at night)

What will they want next..cut down all the trees?

Also water vapour is a far more "earth warming" substance than CO2.

Latest reports are that Mars..our nearest neighbour..is also heating up..is that caused by human interference?

Maybe we should have another protocol.

Oh and Aviation only uses 2% of the worlds total fuel consumption..industry uses 45%

23rd Sep 2005, 04:39

The Department of Transport's own models on aviation growth show dramatic reductions in air travel when assumptions are added for fuel taxes and other factors," the group's director Tony Juniper said in a statement.

"Aviation is a rogue sector and its environmental impact is out of control," he said. "Climate change is the most urgent challenge facing humanity and yet aviation policy is doing the opposite of what is needed." quite frankly I think they have it spot on.

We sail blythly round the world on cheap fares and don't even give the 4 nights for $500 in Bali a second thought beyond where we will stay and eat.

The airline manufacturers have made huge strides in the fuel efficiency of the modern airliner, maybe it was largely driven by economics, doesn't matter the net result is lower emmissions.

Yes being transnational it is a problem no one wants to tackle, but we can in our own backyard.

Why then do we allow old clunkers to perpetuate the low cost dream.
Low cost what, aircraft or fuel.
Why do we pepetuate the entrepreneurs dream of riches by using our fuel instead of his capital in his enterprise.

We do not have any options for the future but to benchmark a basket of modern efficient aircraft for the lbs of fuel per passenger mile produced and carbon tax to parity anything that doesn't make it and that wants to access the Australian market both domestic and internationally.

Europe and the UK are busy denying access to aircraft from countries with dodgy regulators, our Maritime regulators have a long very good record likewise regarding old clunker ships.

Why don't we require an environmental impact statement before a license is issued.

Why do we not make passengers aware by the above benchmark that the advantage they are "buying" in J class comfort or cheap fares in clunkers is actually being paid for by the rest of us in a demonstrable increase in the degradation of our environment by it.

I suspect that most Australians were they made aware of the differences in emissions for a given flight against a benchmark would be horrified or at the very least feel a frisson of embarrassment about the nature of their "cheap" ride.

I don't imagine this will be a popular notion.

24th Sep 2005, 00:53
Yeah! it's just a shame the journo had to quote some knucklehead from an organisation with a bespeckled past in the US arm.

the shaman
27th Sep 2005, 10:41
Gaunty I think you may have a good point here, whilst I am reluctant to promote any ideas that are damaging to the aviation industry (as it is not only my bread and butter but my sons as well), the facts speak for themselves regarding global warming, greenhouse effect / gases etc. The climate is changing, the earth is warming up, oceans are warming up and there will be more Katrinas , Ritas and huge chunks of antarctica breaking off and floating away.

Just as aircraft engine noise reduction was the big deal in the 70's and 80's , so will aircraft engine emmission be the big deal in the coming decades. The sooner the old coal burners are sent to the Mojave and turned into scrap metal and beer cans the better. Clean and fuel efficient aircraft are the best legacy that we can give to future generations.

By the way mattyj pls review paper on greenhouses gases at this website: http://www.agu.org/eos_elec/99148e.html

you may then reconsider your view on CO2 as being a benign and harmeless gas in the atmosphere.

27th Sep 2005, 21:27
What are you trying to say..the earth has never warmed up before? That it will never cool down again..we are supposidly running out of fossil fuels if you believe some reports..surely this problem is self correcting..I say again..Mars is now warmer than it has been since we began observing it..is that because of greenhouse gases..obviously since Mars atmosphere is mostly CO2 but Humans didn't put it there..you can find any number of rebuttals to your argument..

try this (http://www.junkscience.com/news/robinson.htm)

or maybe this (http://www.envirotruth.org/news/news.cfm)

Don't just accept what the leftist media keep saying..Global Warming is just a UN trick to transfere the wealth of the rich nations to the poor..which may be a good thing.. but it has nothing to do with real science

28th Sep 2005, 09:15
lol, work for don brash by anychance mattyj?

Sure its true that the world has warmed before, due mainly to events such as large volcanic eruptions and mass bushfire events, which obviously emit CO2. But in the past there hasnt been the (HUGE) addition of human made CO2; which accounts for alot more CO2 than its natural chums, in the past the control for global warming has been the expansion of rainforrests as the globe warms to suck in the extra CO2, but of course we cut them all down.. hmmm?

In my opinion, we need new technologies for aircraft to burn less, 787 & a350 are hopefully just the begining and renewable technologies for veichles such as cars etc that dont need the huge energy that aircraft need and of course we need to use renewable energy for electricity.

Of course this is all dreaming with the likes of our lord john howie and his big biz chums in charge.

flame away, we all know 85% of pilots are right at home in the antagonist-right. :mad:

28th Sep 2005, 10:23
This is all a bit Ho-Hum, old hat.

I remember Lockheed proposals over 30 years ago for a hydrogen powered passenger aircraft. In the late 1950's NASA also successfully converted and flew a B-57 (Canberra bomber) on hydrogen fuel.

Google "Lockheed hydrogen fuel aircraft" for some very interesting reading.

With oil at US$60 per barrel, I would not be surprised if Lockheed haven't already dusted off their old plans and files.........


the shaman
28th Sep 2005, 10:51
anyone who thinks that all the jet aircraft flying around the globe at this very moment are not contributing to global warming have spent far to much time in front of the box watching Homer Simpson.

Have a read of Ross Gittins in todays SMH for a fair and reasonable opinion on the oil crisis of today and some of the likely outcomes. Very interesting reading - let me know what you think mattyj.


28th Sep 2005, 12:22
We'll all be rooned before the year is out!

28th Sep 2005, 12:52
Can't remember where I saw it but there was a measurable significant positive change to the atmosphere over the US in the days after 9/11 when the aviation business was shut down. it was statistically significant and it was not anecdotal.

the shaman 2030 is the number being quoted by the latest studies, not predicting gloom and no oil but when we start using more than we can find. Unless we continue to make substantial efficiencies in the way we use it as we have so far.

Another figure, again I cant rememebr where I saw it suggests that the effort so far has pushed the above time out from 2015.

Now if I'm still around then (2030) all it will mean to me is I'm less likely to get knocked out of my zimmer frame by a car, but my yet to be born grandchildren will be approaching adulthood. I wonder what they'll think of us.

BTB I don't supoose anyone can tell me what is the difference in Jet A1 used, say Syd/Mel between a B737-200 a B737-800?

PPRuNe Towers
28th Sep 2005, 13:00
Regarding the we're doomed bit.

Interesting full page, full colour ad in the International Herald Tribune today placed by oil giant Chevron. Turn your skepticism filters to maximum and read on.

They said that they simply cannot match world demand now and projected up to 2025.

Alternative sources are an absolute imperative and stress the non CO2 producing ones.

They beat their chests in a sidebar feature on what they're doing in this area. Yeah, yeah I know but all advertising by at least one other giant rests purely on such efforts and has done for months now.

They detail other efforts by governments and private industry.

They close by stating all that is a useless pinprick unless private citizens force the issue. Market forces will keep them very profitable while Rome or our lifestyles burn.

Then they repeat an urgent call for Joe Public to force energy use away from oil - their bread and butter.

While this has all been prettified and spun by the marketeers it would seem the research and message has come from far more dour and serious professionals who would normally go to bed each night praying the alternative energy zealots will disappear by morning.

They aren't fools and the VP for social responsibilty doesn't have the power to create such a downbeat message. These are the people who know the real reserves rather than those now known to have been repeatedly exaggerated in recent years in company reports. Are their analysts really seeing societal breakdown and err, 'strategic assurance of reserves' in their highly paid crystal balls?

What do you think is the underlying motivation and message?


404 Titan
28th Sep 2005, 15:25
Can't remember where I saw it but there was a measurable significant positive change to the atmosphere over the US in the days after 9/11 when the aviation business was shut down. it was statistically significant and it was not anecdotal.
This little gem gets bandied around all the time by the environmental lobby in their attempted to discredit the aviation industry. The reality is that after 911 total pollutants in the atmosphere rose over the US because passengers stranded had to find alternative means of getting home. The increase in car emissions more than offset the decline caused by the skies being emptied of aircraft.

To prove my point these are the official causes of worldwide pollution in 2002:

Total Energy Sector Emissions in 2002.

• Energy Industries = 53.8%
• Transport = 21.3%
• Manufacturing Industries & Construction = 11.7%
• Fugitive Fuel Emissions = 8.1%
• Other Sectors = 5.0%

Now let’s break down the transport sector to find who is the most polluting there.

Transport Emissions in 2002.

• Passenger Cars = 54.9%
• Other road Transport = 33.4%
• Aviation = 7.4%
• Railways = 2.3%
• Navigation = 2.0%

If we extrapolate this further for Aviation,

7.4% x 21.3% = 1.576%

In other words aviation accounted for no more than 1.6% of total pollution in 2002. If we are to do anything about worldwide pollution I think we should look at the energy sector first as it is by far the worst offender. Aviation is a piss in the ocean by comparison.

PPRuNe Towers
What do you think is the underlying motivation and message?
To drive prices up even further and line their own pockets. There is no shortage of oil in the world. There is a shortage of refining capacity caused by these same oil companies neglecting to invest in the future demand rises that was always going to happen.

PPRuNe Towers
28th Sep 2005, 17:12
errr, does that final paragraph above follow the substantive point of the Chevron ad 404? There's a logic bomb throughout your reply to me whatever your view. Or is it the old reverse psychology ploy?

I suspect I'm even more cynical than you but I'm genuinely interested in how folks here read what Chevron are saying between the lines.

Regards again,

PS An apology - anyone searching out that ad should be looking at yesterdays Trib - or was it tomorrows?. Almost certain I had to do exams on time zones once, long ago.:uhoh: :uhoh:

28th Sep 2005, 20:51
Cynical, you Rob? No never! :E

Think I recall very recently that a formerly British, now global petroleum company produced a world record annual profit and it would have been higher had it not been for a refinery fire somewhere in the USA?

That same company also happens to be one of the world's largest investors in the alternate energy business.

One can't help but be sceptical of oil industry claims. Twenty to thirty years ago diesel fuel was less than half the price of gasoline, understandable as it constitutes a higher proportion of crude content and has significantly lower refining costs. UK and Europe moved to a higher proportion of diesel powered cars - and diesel fuel (in Australia at least) is now 10% more expensive than gasoline!

Ditto Autogas (LPG). Twenty years ago Autogas sold at less than 15% the cost of gasoline. Cars (and particularly taxis) here converted en mass to Autogas - and the price is now 40% that of gasoline.

And on the latter point, 850 new gas wells are planned for this State alone where known gas reserves are claimed to exceed expected demand for the next century at least.

There is no doubt a move to alternate and renewable energy sources is long overdue, however I reserve my judgement on any oil company spin doctoring!

But I expect after Katrina and Rita, the US may be re visiting their emission problems!


PPRuNe Towers
28th Sep 2005, 23:50
world's largest investors in the alternate energy business.

and that's where the cynic in me thinks you done broke the code.:eek:

The other half of the equation is now 500 Northern hemisphere refineries have been 'rationalised' the oil companies find themselves cold shouldered everywhere they try in the first world to get permission to build new capacity - just like big new airports.

The stuff may well be there to extract but could it be more the case they can't increase refining capacity anywhere near the actual major markets and supply chain? And trapped by the 'just in time' concept they can't significantly expand by buiding over existing plant.

Now they call on the public to push for an exponential growth in alternatives? Nah, couldn't be - could it?

Naively yours,

PS All that said climate research has been in the news here in the UK prior to the Nasa stuff. The welcome extra sunshine we got in 2004 triggered a disturbing measure of crop yields actually decreasing through, what appears, a CO2 bootstrapping effect.

29th Sep 2005, 00:21
Go 404 I agree wholeheartedly..I will conceed that there is a lot of science in support of global warming as caused by human activity as opposed to natural global warming which I believe in and also no global warming which there seems to be plenty of support on the web for..but 404 is quite correct..aviation accounts for less than 2% of all emmissions and "emerging economies" are by far the worst polluters.

Don't lets cut off aviations nose to spite its face!!!

29th Sep 2005, 01:51
404 Titan This little gem gets bandied about..... I found it last night in my latest issue of Scientific American.
Perhaps I was a bit loose with the measurable significant positive change to the atmosphere over the US and should have included the word "upper" in front of atmosphere and included a thesis on the effects of N20, H20 (in contrail form) and the ubiquitous Co2 and CO. But then the environmental lobby in their attempted to discredit the aviation industry used it so it must be scaremongering.

The real point is not WHICH sector is producing the most but that ALL of them are producing more than they could.

By your argument it's every other sectors problem and devil take the hindmost.

It's not just Chevron as Rob points out, BP and others have been very active in the alternative energy business for some time and have been running media on it since.

You can call it cynical if you like but if you think beyond your personal prejudices Chevron, BP et al have a demonstrable commercial imperative to stretch the worlds supply, finite or not, for as long as they can by campaigning for efficiency against inefficiency to secure their long term businesses.
Paradoxical but logical. The time they thus buy is being spent on moving towards developing guess what the alternatives.

Guess what? Their business was, is and will be selling ENERGY.

The particular problem for aviation is the energy density, portability and useability of the fuel required, as far as I am aware highly refined hydrocarbons are the only practical economic alternative available in the foreseeable future.

Hydrogen is too bulky and difficult to handle, nuclear is likewise apart from the obvious other risks, methane from sheep and cows? WW2 charcoal burners don't work at M0.82 and my limited intelect can't imagine beyond that.

Road vehicles dont have the weight issues that allow the hybrid technology, ships have been nuclear for years, likewise for electricity production.

And we are the most visible user by yards. In Oz persistent contrails are the exception, in the US and Europe they are ubiquitous to the extent that it could be possible to permanently add 7octa As BTN FL250 and FL450.
Off course that has no effect whatsoever on global warming does it. Yes it reflects heat back but is this nett effect greater than the radiant heat it blocks. Dunno but it sure makes aviaton a highly visible target.
And before we get another lecture on contrails being largely H2O we already know that.
But it is in the public perception the same visible air pollution if they are led that way as the greasy black exhaust out of a badly maintained or old technology truck/ship or car.

Disclaimer and disclosure. Elder Princess gaunty and nephew Prince gaunty are both BSc (Hons) in Natural Resource Management UWA. The former a senior exec in the Qld EPA and advisor to the Minister, the latter works for a company making a big name in Terrestrial Spectral mapping. This doesn't confer any extra credibility or authority whatsoever to my arguments it simply prevents me from enjoying the luxury of drawing, unchallenged, conclusions that might suit my personal prejudices from time to time, that are not supported by the facts.

These kids and their peers are the ones who are going to have to sort out and actually live with what we argue about here.

Don't lets cut off aviations nose to spite its face!!! I agree lets just carry on as if there is not a problem in the world, continue the use of old kero guzzling clunkers that use our energy capital rather than the entrepreneurs actual capital to allow ma and pa kettle and the kids to fly to their favourite holiday destination or the business traveller to steal a bit of cut price comfort just for the cost of that energy and a little bit.

If they were required to pay a "tax" on the "excess fuel" used over any given sector they might take a different view.

30th Sep 2005, 02:47
Quick snapshot form a Flt Int article 23-29 Aug 2005.

"modern jets ...noise footprint is around 75% less and fuel effeiciency 70% better than the first jets.

of these gains the improved fuel efficiency is key, since each tonne of Jet-A combusted in aero engines produces 3.5 t of carbomn dioxide. Carbon emission is still the largest concern for environmental groups around Europe, says, Jeff Gazzard co-ordinator for the Green Skies Aliance of conservationist pressure groups. Transport is one of the largets non-natural sources of carbon and aviation, despite only accoun ting for 12% of the sectors CO2 emissions (compared with 75% for road transport), vegetation cannot absorb airborne emissions as it does at ground level.

But aviation has drastically cur its CO2 emissions and when civil aircraft are compared with other modes of transport aviations green credentials emerge:Airbus says the global aircraft fleet has an average fuel efficiency of 5.6 litres/100 passenger kilometres, assuming payloads of around 85%. The average fuel consumption for the global car fleet is 5.5 litres/100 passenger kilometres (based on an average of 1.64 people in cars)..........

Furthermore, aircraft fuel consumption is much better than that of buses and is around half that of high speed trains once electricity generation is taken into account ........

Yet despite these gains environmental groups still want much more drastic action........"

So overall, existing Australian domestic and international airlines, which have one of he youngest fleets in the world are right up there and getting better.

From Flt Intl again;
" The A380 will have a fuel efficiency of 3 litres/100 passenger kilomtres fully loade and would have to drop to a load factor of 63% to drop to the fuel consumption levels of even the most modern cars, which average 4.7 litres /100 passenger kilometres."

Australian aviation regulatory and safety issues aside where are the environmentalists on the intended use of old kero guzzling clunkers that use our energy capital rather than the entrepreneurs actual capital to allow ma and pa kettle and the kids to fly to their favourite holiday destination or the business traveller to steal a bit of cut price comfort just for the cost of that energy and a little bit.

I suspect that these old aircraft are being chased out of the UK and Europe. Faced with the choice of parting them out or donating them to third world countries the only alternative is to tart em up bring em here and try to float the business class for economy price idea.

From the above, the 60 seat all business class concept for economy price on its own would reduce the fuel efficiency of modern aircaft to a third or around 16.8 litres /100 passenger kilometres and a massive 28 litres?? / 100 passenger kilometres.applied to the early jets. The math might be a bit dodgy but the fact remains.

Maths aside it's really simple, as a business case you have 2 options,

1. Consume high technology modern aircraft designed to to minimise the volume of non renewable resource and therefore environmental impact. = the fare.
2. Consume high volumes of a non renewable resource with high environmental impact substituted for capital by using fully superannuted old technology = the same fare.

The former requires a high level of capital commitment the latter a high level of consumption of our non renewable resources in the absence of capital.

Environmental issues aside, I thought robber barons were a thing of the past.

But then the robber barons of the past always relied on the general dumbosity of the population at large.

30th Sep 2005, 05:09
They just need to bung a hole in the Timor sea bed and hey presto gas!
Wonder if Darwhine power station will ever get a whiff of this lot before its all carted off to China for use in the manufacture of useful plastic shit.

Santos's Timor Sea gas discovery
Andrew Trounson

SANTOS and US oil major ConocoPhillips yesterday reported a "significant" new gas discovery in the Timor Sea that could open the way for a doubling in size of the $US1.5 billion ($2 billion) Darwin liquefied natural gas plant now nearing completion.

News of the Caldita-1 drill success some 265km north-northwest of Darwin, combined with a rise in oil prices, sent Santos shares up 6.8 per cent, adding about $400 million to the value of the stock.

Santos closed at $12.25, up 68c, after earlier hitting a record high of $12.47.

Drilled in 137 metres of water and to a depth of more than 4km, the Caldita-1 well has flowed natural gas at a rate of 33 million cubic feet per day. The flow rate could have been higher but was constrained by limited available surface equipment.

The flow rate raised hopes that Santos and ConocoPhillips could realise their pre-drill target of a discovery of more than 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

However, the market has been left short on detail with no indication yet of the size of the gas column or whether the gas is contaminated by high carbon dioxide levels that are common in the area.

"If the gas is clean enough and the resource large enough to trigger an LNG expansion then it will be very valuable," Morgan Stanley oil and gas analyst Stuart Baker said.

Piping the gas into an expanded Darwin plant would be the most obvious development option but depending on the quality of the gas the partners would probably need close to 3 trillion cubic feet or more to support a second LNG processing train at Wickham Point.

Wickham Point is designed to take in gas from the ConocoPhillips and Santos Bayu Udan development 390km to the west of Caldita. Bayu-Undan has 3.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, all of which is needed to underwrite the 3.5 million tonne a year LNG plant.

ConocoPhillips farmed into the Caldita-1 exploration permit area in July last year, earning a 60 per cent stake by financing the drilling, and leaving Santos with 40 per cent. The two reached an understanding that they could use the existing Bayu-Undan/Wickham Point infrastructure if Caldita proved commercial.

Santos is a junior partner in Bayu Undan/Wickham with a 10.6 per cent stake, but now stands to have a much bigger slice of any expansion based on Caldita.

"This is an encouraging result and further evaluation will be carried out to assess the appraisal and development potential of Caldita and nearby resources," Santos chief executive John Ellice-Flint said.

But further appraisal work will probably have to wait until next year. The Caldita drill rig is now due to head off and drill the Firebird well near Bayu Undan.

Any development of Caldita would need an offshore facility to process the gas before piping it ashore, since the Bayu Undan facilities are too far away


21st Oct 2005, 02:18
Heres an alternative view but the message is the same, we ain't got any not even one little, to waste.

Flight Intl again 11-17 Oct 2005
Aviation urged to press fuel claim
Consultant calls on automobile industry to become more energy effcient to safeguard oil stocks for aircraft

The air transport industry must put pressure on automotive manufacturers to introduce fuel-efficient road vehicles to ensure security of fuel supply for air transport, says a report by consultancy Meridian International Research.

While the air transport industry is the most sensitive to rising oil prices, technology to allow it to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption is not yet developed. However, fuel-efficient motor vehicle technologies are much more advanced, and in some cases are already being introduced.

“The air transport industry cannot easily reduce oil consumption – except by grounding aircraft. Air transport is too important to the functioning of the world to allow that,” says William Tahil, research director at Meridian, an independent strategy research and technology consultancy based in France.

The introduction of plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric road vehicles would take the pressure off fossil-fuel supplies and allow time for biojet fuel to become a feasible option to replace part of the 230 billion litres of jet fuel that are burned worldwide each year, the report says.

Developments in technology allowing biodiesel fuel to be used in aircraft will cut the use of fossil fuels in air transport in the longer term, Tahil says.

But the logistics of growing enough biofuel crops and the advances in technology needed to use biofuels in aviation mean this is a longer-term option: “The resources are there. If they are put into place they could replace significant amounts of jet fuel over the next 10-20 years, but what is needed is the recognition that they must be put into place.”

But airlines need to take a holistic approach, and industry bodies like the International Air Transport Association should put pressure on motor manufacturing associations and manufacturers themselves to cut fuel consumption, according to Tahil: “Our economic future depends on oil prices coming down to reasonable levels – the air transport sector is vital to the smooth functioning of global industry.”


The International Air Transport Association’s chief economist Brian Pearce predicts that as clean coal, renewable and hydrogen power generation technologies gain ground, oil demand will fall in the long-term. “That will leave plenty of oil left to refine jet fuel until the next aircraft fuel comes along. Meanwhile, the industry will continue improving fuel efficiency and investing R&D into alternative energy sources,” he says.

The “peak oil” theory – that oil production will reach a peak and then decline, with the peak year known only once it has passed – is “a serious issue”, Pearce says. “However, even if no additional oil reserves are discovered, at current rates of consumption there are 40 years of oil left, which should give the world time to develop new energy sources.