U.K. Aviation Will Grow but Emissions Expected to Level Off

The United Kingdom aviation industry could see its passenger counts increase threefold through 2050, but carbon dioxide emissions are expected to sink to 2000 levels, according to an industry group.

Sustainable Aviation released a report Friday assessing the environmental impact of the U.K. air transport industry, finding that emissions will peak around 2020 before falling back to 2000 levels in 2050 based on new aircraft and traffic management technology and lower carbon fuels. It doesn't include the impact of the industry's participation in any cap-and-trade systems.

Aviation is responsible for about 2 percent of worldwide emissions, and the European Union has decided to include aviation in its EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

The report estimates that new lower carbon fuels will be used more frequently after 2020, and will yield a 10 percent reduction in emissions from 2030. Better air traffic management will reduce emissions 10 percent by 2020.

But the biggest impact on emissions wil come from new airframe and engine design and technologies, such as open rotor engines and blended wing bodies, all of which will put a 62 percent dent in carbon dioxide emissions.

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