Lindbergh Foundation sets up a ‘green alliance’ to further progress on addressing aviation environmental challenges
Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis after after his Central American and Caribbean tour, February 1928 (Photo courtesy of the Lindbergh Picture Collection, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library)
Tue 8 Feb 2011 – The Lindbergh Foundation, a non-profit organisation that focuses on technological breakthroughs to address aviation environmental issues, has announced the formation of the Aviation Green Alliance. The programme aims to support aviation-related companies and individuals committed to proactively addressing aviation and the environment. Its stated mission, according to the foundation’s Chairman, Larry Williams, is to “encourage solutions, acknowledging progress and communicating ideas”. Although the work of the Lindbergh Foundation and its members is largely centred around the General Aviation community, it hopes the wider commercial aviation sector will participate in the programme. The foundation was set up in 1977 following the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s epic flight between New York and Paris, the first solo transatlantic crossing.
Williams said the Aviation Green Alliance (AGA) would create multiple platforms for members to share strategies, findings, progress and ideas related to addressing aviation’s environmental challenges. “It’s important for the world to know that manufacturers, operators, service companies and individuals in aviation are quite actively involved in making measurable, scalable and valuable environmental progress.”
Lindbergh Foundation Vice Chairman David Treinis, who is leading the concept work and development of the AGA, said: “Aviation – its industry, corporate operators and individuals alike – is coming under intense governmental and media scrutiny. The flying community has become a target in the debate over emissions, noise, efficiency and other environmental concerns.
“It is imperative that we address such challenges with responsibility, care and cooperation among all of aviation’s stakeholders.”
The foundation says the Aviation Green Alliance is offering members and supporters a “safe harbour” for addressing aviation environmental issues and aims to provide:
up-to-date aviation environmental news and information;
grant funding for the discovery and development of new and promising technologies;
recommended practices for achieving measurable aviation-related conservation and sustainability initiatives;
educational programmes and outreach showcasing industry progress and successes in addressing aviation’s environmental footprint; and
recognition of member successes.
Added Treinis: “Charles Lindbergh wrote, ‘Airplanes combined the elements I loved, bringing qualities of science and wilderness together without apparent conflict.’ Later he was quoted as having proposed that ‘all of the achievements of mankind have value only to the extent that they preserve and improve the quality of life.’ The Lindbergh Foundation, and our new Aviation Green Alliance, reminds us of these beliefs, and encourages all of us in aviation to join this timely and important rally to achieve this vital balance between technology and the environment.”
The Lindbergh Foundation, which honours both Charles and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh, has three major programmes: the annual Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions towards balancing nature and scientific innovation in their work; the Lindbergh Grants programme, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building Charles Lindbergh’s ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ airplane) for research or education projects that will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events and publications centred on the balance theme.
Grants are available to non-US citizens and the foundation is keen to attract a wide Aviation Green Alliance membership. “We’re all for going international with this effort – especially knowing the Lindberghs were an international couple in aviation,” said the foundation’s Director of Communications and Award Program Administrator, Kelley Welf.
Attracted by the $25,000 dollar prize on offer, Charles Lindbergh took off in the Spirit of St. Louis from Long Island, New York, on 27 May 1927 on his hazardous flight, arriving at Le Bourget Airport in Paris over 33 hours and 3,500 miles later, thus becoming the first to fly across the Atlantic alone. Around 500 people saw him off, 100,000 witnessed his landing and 4 million lined the streets of New York to welcome his return.
His daughter Reeve Lindbergh, author and Honorary Chairman of the foundation, said the Aviation Green Alliance was a step in the right direction for the foundation and noted: “My mother wrote that ‘power over life must be balanced by reverence for life’. My father once said that if he had to choose, he would rather have birds than airplanes. I think that both my father and my mother would be pleased with this innovative technology and all that it promises for birds and airplanes alike – and for all of us.”