Austria's aviation industry combines to produce a publication to support its climate protection activities
'The Environment and Aviation'
Fri 21 Nov 2008 – Austrian Airlines Group, the Austrian air navigation services provider Austro Control and six Austrian airports have jointly published a report called ‘The Environment and Aviation’, which aims to document the multi-faceted efforts of the country’s air transport industry in support of environmental and climate protection. Meanwhile, Austrian Airlines has released details of the recent performance of its passenger carbon offset scheme, which show an 8.5% take-up on online bookings.
‘The Environment and Aviation’ provides information on the interaction of activities on the ground and in the air as well as facts and figures on subjects covering flight noise, engine technology developments, the careful use of ground resources and the protection of flora and fauna at airports.
It is part of an aviation industry Umwelt and Luftfahrt Initiative (ULI) to improve public perception of the sector and communicate its environmental activities to stakeholder groups. It published its first Environmental Report in April.
“It is impossible to eliminate all air traffic emissions,” commented Alfred Ötsch, CEO of Austrian Airlines. “However, we place great importance on the careful use of raw materials and energy as well as the ecological optimization of production processes – even if air traffic is only responsible for roughly 2% of global CO2 emissions. In order to protect the environment, we use state-of-the art technologies and our aircraft fleet can be classified as very low-emission by international standards.”
The airline says the country’s aviation industry has long been a leader in environmental protection measures such as underground refuelling, the use of photovoltaic equipment, noise reducing take-off and landing procedures, ground water protection, energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuels in apron vehicles.
“We are well aware of our responsibility for the environment and to make an important contribution in reducing the related effects of air traffic,” said Johann Zemsky CEO of Austro Control.
Along with Austrian Airlines and Vienna Airport, Austro Control has set up a Dialogue Forum with communities and residents close to Vienna Airport to find acceptable solutions to aircraft noise problems.
In a presentation to the Airline Strategy Summit in London earlier this week, Austrian Airlines’ Environmental Affairs Manager, Anton Novak, released details of the performance of the airline’s passenger voluntary carbon offset scheme it runs in conjunction with Climate Austria and supported by the country’s Ministry of Environment.
Its calculator is based on a combination of updated fuel burnoff statistics compiled by the airline and load factors, and makes no distinction on class of travel by the passenger, based on the premise that a business class passenger has paid much more for the flight anyway. The passenger has the choice of changing the calculated amount to offset the emissions of the flight and can select an option for the amount to be used on Austrian environmental projects or on international CDM projects. Novak says that nearly 90% of passengers select the local option.
Over a four-month period between June 25 and October 26 2008, the offset scheme produced the following results: