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Global aviation industry goes greener

Aviation industry first to restrict carbon emissions

By Harrison Korin

Alaska Airlines takes off for a cleaner aviation industry.

Alaska Airlines takes off for a cleaner aviation industry.

Late last year the aviation industry decided to put carbon emission restrictions on airliners, this restriction was courtesy of Arnold Franck, the director of air transport for Haiti. Haiti and a few other countries pushed for such a restriction because global warming and other environmental disasters could mean devastation for small countries.


Retired Boeing engineer Benjamin Drinkwater thinks that, while global warming and the effect aircraft have on the environment is very important, a restriction on carbon emissions may lack standing.


“My personal opinion is that global warming is slightly oversold,” said Drinkwater. “Since the beginning of time there have been changes in climate and even now [when] we are coming out of an ice age.”


Raisbeck Aviation High School junior and prospective aviator Patrick Eaton has different sentiments and believes in the validity of a restriction that may benefit future generations.


“I think it is a good thing that they are putting on these restrictions,” said Eaton, “as it will help push for the next generation of technology that will limit emissions.”


Though he doesn’t completely agree with the steps the industry is taking to go green, Drinkwater acknowledges the effects of aircraft on the atmosphere.


“Since the airliners fly at high altitudes the atmosphere is thinner and the assimilation of carbon may be slowed or even stunted,” said Drinkwater. “This stunt in assimilation causes pockets of carbon dioxide that cannot be filtered through plants to create oxygen.”


Drinkwater is more concerned about the effect on the aviation industry in the future, both job-wise and technology-wise.


“I don’t think they should put restrictions and regulations on the aviation industry that can’t reasonably be met,” said Drinkwater, “as it may cause a lack of future development in technologically. The restrictions may limit the spectrum of future pathways in aviation regarding fuel.”


Drinkwater is aware of aviation industry giants already working towards a cleaner airspace, but hopefully not at too high of a cost.


“They are already testing new technology and even if it has been tested I don’t want it to be put in place without heavy, exceedingly heavy, testing. Without proper caution and care it could affect the overall performance of the aircraft,” said Drinkwater. “I also know that Alaska and Boeing are working towards cleaner fuel opportunities and that is good and but I wouldn’t rush into anything that may harm the engines or put people out of work.”


Eaton believes that finding new ways to develop aviation technology can open up new avenues of technology in general.


“Recently Alaska airlines had the first commercial airliner with biodiesel with forest matter as an alternate fuel,” said Eaton. “By instituting technology like this we are not only protecting our planet but advancing the business that aviation is trying to be more clean and efficient.”


Eaton also predicts growth in the aviation industry job fields, as he foresees more needs for diverse, environmentally friendly technology.


“I don’t think it will have any negative effects, there will be more jobs because there will be technologies that need to be created from different professions,” said Eaton. “And I don’t see it harming aviation itself in the future because there will always be a need for pilots.”

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