Tradeoffs and priorities

The fifth of a series considering the topic of climate change from different viewpoints within the EU aviation community continues with a different perspective within higher education.  Air Traffic Management had the opportunity to speak with Prof. Dr. Frank Fichert from the University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Worms.

As always we began with the topic of what is green flying? Beginning with the decision with whether to fly or not as the basis for this discussion, the next step comes with the involvement of regulators and taxes that are imposed – ticket taxes – or are in discussion to be imposed – fuel taxes – that could have an impact on the ticket purchasers' decision to fly. The types of flight will also evolve over time with the migration from fossil fuels to sustainable fuels and in some niches electric flight. The ATC role is to consider how flights are routed to reduce the impact.

Economists like to put a price on things. This brings us back to priorities and trade-offs. There need to be some industry rules to align all of the participants on the order of such topics as capacity, CO2 emissions, cost efficiency and other environmental implications. Of course safety will always be first.

The global implications of CO2 have to be considered in any programs for the future. It doesn’t matter where you are flying, the CO2 will have impacts beyond the single region in which an ATC organisation is operating. At a minimum, there should be European cooperation, but with a future goal of global solutions.

Please join us next week for the last discussion in our series, where we will be joined by John Santurbano, Director MUAC, Vice-Chairman of FABEC CEO Board and Champion CEO of the FABEC Environment Standing Committee.