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November 2008
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Up, Up, and Away

Last night while flipping through the channels trying to get some R&R (I had severely underestimated my run home from work) I happened upon a CBC documentary The Sky’s the Limit.   Although  I usually dedicate any TV watching I get to sports this doc really got my attention.

Where is the future of Aviation?

The bulk of the documentary seemed to discuss the green and not-so-green side of aviation. There was some discussion regarding the ever expanding disparities in income and how fewer and fewer people in the world can actually afford to fly.

In the documentary Airbus claims that there is less of a climatic input per person if the plane is near capacity. As the number of passengers decreases, their environmental impact increases (not rocket science). Realistically airplane travel is still very harmful to our environment. Two groups were highlighted to really being making a difference:

1) Virgin Airlines
Owned and operated by Sir Richard Branson, his goal is to ‘green’ his fleet of aircrafts. In this BBC articleit highlights that Branson plans to spend $3bn over the next 10 years on renewable energy initiatives, that he has ordered 15 of Boeing’s fuel-efficient Dreamliner Aircrafts, and that Branson intends to fly the first bio-fuel powered commercial aircraft. In his interview last night on The Sky’s the Limithe committed all of the profits from Virgin’s flights to finding ‘green’ fuel. His money has gone into researching algae oil as a source of fuel. Apparently you can drink the fuel of the future, although Branson claimed it tasted terrible!

2) Plane Stupid
Plane StupidPlane Stupid is a group of protesters that rallies to promote the effects of the aviation industry on our environment. In The Sky’s the Limitthey focused on the recent protest at Heathrow’s New Terminal, Terminal 5. They also showed a demonstration at British Airways headquarters in London, where Plane Stupid Members hung banners from their roof. With Heathrow’s plans to build a 6th terminal and a third ruway  and wipe out the towns of Sipson, Harmondsworth and Harlington. Expect Plane Stupid to be there protecting with the  citizens.

What also  caught my  attention was the Airbus Beluga. Both my boyfriend and couldn’t believe what we were seeing, it literaly looks like a flying whale. Designed to transport over-sized objects it looks like its ‘mouth’ opens up and swallows the object whole!

Having the opportunity to see the world and experience different  culture gives everyone a much greater appreciation for humanity. I am not against travel, it offers a wealth of opportunities to learn, but I would like to see aviation travel get greener.

Comments

Pingback from » Up, Up, and Away
Time November 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm

[…] As the number of passengers decreases, their environmental impact increases (not rocket science). Realistically airplane travel is still very harmful to our environment . Two groups were highlighted to really being making a difference: … Original post […]