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Conservative Party will not give Heathrow its third runway

It’s the annual conference of the Conservative Party in the UK – those are the people who are almost certainly going to get to run the country from next summer – and one very clear piece of news out of it seems to be that Heathrow will not get its third runway. Various senior Conservatives […]

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Five reasons why The End of Aviation is not nigh

The New Republic magazine in the US has a thought-provoking article running entitled The End of Aviation. It’s subtitled What will happen when America can’t afford to fly? It’s about America obviously, but most of the arguments are applicable elsewhere. A couple of years ago I would have considered them plausible, but now I’m more […]

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Southwest Airlines doing a green thing that matters

Regular readers will know it’s an article of faith for me that improved air traffic management is the only way that aviation is going to improve its environmental act to any meaningful extent in the near future. Part of that needs to be the widespread adoption of what’s called required navigation performance (RNP) techniques. And […]

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Efficient taxying – New York shows how it’s not done

By a weird but genuine coincidence, a day after posting my observations on taxying times I was sent the latest US Bureau of Transportation Statistics on…aircraft taxying times. I didn’t even know they collected the data. The special report is eccentrically titled “Sitting on the Runway: Current Aircraft Taxi Times Now Exceed Pre-9/11 Experience“ – […]

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Efficient taxying – Exeter Airport and Flybe show how it’s done

Fact is, the aviation world doesn’t have much in the way of ideas for becoming greener anytime soon. The only serious programme on the horizon is improved air traffic management – worth perhaps a valuable 12% in emissions but reliant on national authorities. Don’t hold your breath. But I think there is something that is […]

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Aviation & Environment Summit

The reason I’ve had a couple of weeks of blogging silence here is partly that I was on vacation but also because I then attended the third Aviation & Environment Summit in Geneva. I blogged from there on our Aviation and the Environment blog, which you may care to take a look at.

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Camembert or jetfuel, sleep or save the planet

A philosophical senior manager at Snecma used to be fond of saying that if we want alternative jetfuels made from vegetable matter then there is a problem – there isn’t room to grow enough green stuff to make the fuel we need without threatening food production. Being very French, even by French standards, he sums […]

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Christmas card from CFM International – expect to see more of this kind of thing

With even the Bush administration now sort-of, kind-of, grudgingly conceding that there might be something in all that environmental change stuff – even if Gore’s getting all the credit (but at least he’s not going to run for the presidency) – for once the ‘tipping point’ cliche does seem appropriate. Expect to see a rush […]

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Air transport has an image problem – inexplicable really…

At long last (and it took months) the frankly incredible practice of British Airways’ former franchisee British Mediterranean Airways (BMed) flying empty aircraft – so-called ghost flights – out of Heathrow to preserve slots has come to an end. An easy decision for BMed’s new owners BMI. I was going to write a quick post […]

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Difficult to be thrilled by polar ops

I’m not decrying the technical achivements, but I do find it hard to get much joy out of the US Coast Guard’s operation to the North Pole. So now we’ve got Airbus operations in the Antarctic and “domain awareness” in the Arctic. All sound rational motivations I suppose, but I can’t say the heart skips […]

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