The aviation industry has made steady progress on several environmental fronts over the past decades, both as a consequence of international or local regulatory approaches, as well as the constant aim of lowering aircraft operating costs. In the 1980s and 1990s the primary focus was on reducing airport and community noise. In addition, regulatory changes were made to reduce emissions, especially nitrogen oxides (NOx), but also carbon monoxide and particulates. The regulations have thus concentrated on the impact aviation has in and around airports. But concerns about global warming have led to a new focus on the overall impact that aviation has on the environment, primarily in terms of the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, where aviation contributes about 2% of the global total (1.3% from international flights).
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