Secret report forecasts aviation emissions surge

Posted: 22 May 2008

Climate change emissions by the airline industry, airport noise, and local air pollution are all trending sharply upwards, according to a report based on information contained in US, European and UK government databases maintained by regulatory agencies.

Aircraft emissions
Aircraft emissions
Aircraft account for 12 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from US transportation sources. Photo © Earthjustice
The contents of the unpublished report have been revealed by the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), a UK campaigning organisation.

The technical report, which uses data forecasts from authoritative Government regulator research sources, was submitted to a technical seminar held in Barcelona last summer but not accepted and remained unpublished. The headline global figures are as follows:

  • Airport noise - 24 million people affected by noise in 2000 rising to 30.3 million by 2025

  • Local air quality - NOx pollution around airports and at altitude rises from 2.5 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.1 in 2025

  • CO2 emissions - 572 Mt in 2000 rising to 1229 Mt in 2025.

Jeff Gazzard, AEF spokesman, said: "This suppressed report forecasts shocking and continually rising impacts from aviation's major environmental impacts on a region by region basis. Noise above WHO guideline levels is set to rise from impacting 1.4 million people in 2000 across Western Europe to 3.98 million in 2025 - an intolerable public health burden dumped unasked and unwanted on airport communities.

"The projected rise in aviation's climate change impacts shows they are simply out-of-control! CO2 emissions globally are forecast to rise from 572 million tonnes in 2000 to a staggering 1228 million by 2025. Aviation emissions on this scale run a severe risk of overwhelming all CO2 reduction targets."

Click here to download the full report on Trends in Global Noise and Emissions from Commercial Aviation for 2000 through 2025 (Word document)