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Aviation and environment

The aeronautics industry is committed to contributing to the collective effort to protect the environment, particularly given projected growth in air traffic (forecast to increase two-fold from 18,000 to 36,000 aircraft between 2000 and 2020).

ACARE, the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe, has defined highly ambitious goals which we, at Dassault Aviation, support:

  • Cut perceived noise in half (representing a reduction of 20 decibels on take-offs and landings combined),
  • Cut CO2 emissions in half,
  • Reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions five-fold,
  • Reduce the environmental impact of aircraft production and withdrawal from service.

These goals naturally follow on from the reductions achieved thanks to technological progress made over the last forty years: improvements to engine efficiency, aerodynamics and aircraft weight have reduced:

  • Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 70%,
  • Sound nuisance by 90%.

Thanks to these improvements, the global environmental impact of the aeronautical sector is today relatively modest:

  • Aeronautics only accounts for 2% of human CO2 production.
  • Taking all uses into account, jet fuel accounts for 6% of the world’s oil consumption, that is approximately 180 million metric tons per year for over two billion passengers and 500 billion metric tons of cargo.

Benchmark: per passenger and per kilometer, fuel consumption of a modern airplane is similar to that of a car, although it travels at a much higher speed.

By combining technological progress (engines, fuels and aerodynamics), future generations of “green” aircraft should meet the ACARE goals, particularly if they fly in a more optimized airspace.