The natural growth of the world's general aviation industry may be stifled if industry and government fail to collaborate on environmental innovation, or arrive at parochial solutions that ignore the global interoperability of the world's transport systems, says Jack Pelton chairman and chief executive of the world's largest business and general aviation aircraft manufacturer Cessna.

Speaking at Les Respirations annual international environmental congress in Paris on 20 November, Pelton said: "Aviation has established an outstanding track record in reducing its environmental impact as we grow to meet rising demand for transportation around the world, We must pursue policies and practices that balance progress and technology with environmental sensitivity."

Globally, all of aviation accounts for only 2% of all CO2 emissions caused by burning fossil fuels, yet some seek to put an undue burden on it through unreasonable environmental regulation, Pelton continued.

Jack Pelton
 © Cessna

Over the past four decades, aviation has improved aircraft fuel efficiency by more than 70% at the same time as passenger and cargo traffic has been increasing more than sixfold, making aviation an extremely greenhouse-gas efficient economic driver.

During the same period, Pelton said jet engine fuel efficiency improved by 70% without government carbon emission standards, while federal emission standards for the auto industry enacted during the same period produced only about 15% improvement.

"It's important to note these improvements are a result of customer demand and market forces, not regulation," Pelton said.

"Further reducing aviation's impact on climate change requires partnership between industry and government and a commitment to find realistic solutions everyone can live with," Pelton said.

"If not, we risk damaging the growth and vitality of the aviation industry, one of the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative sectors in the world, and an essential part of both the world's transportation system and the global economy," he added.

Source: Flight International