Sustainable Aviation – the coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and the air traffic service provider – has published its latest Progress Report showing how growth in passenger numbers has been disconnected from the rate of growth in carbon and noise emissions.

The report shows that CO2 emissions from SA airlines have increased by less than half a percent since 2014 despite a 9% increase in the number of passengers flown. We have also seen a reduction of over 12,000 people in the noise contour areas at five SA member airports.

Sustainable Aviation fully appreciates that growth needs to be delivered with the minimum impact of aircraft noise disturbance and emissions that contribute to climate change and local air quality. We are committed to playing our role.

The Report also concludes that since 2014, Sustainable Aviation and its members have:

  • Made significant progress on creating a successful and vibrant sustainable aviation fuels sector for the UK
  • UK airlines took a leading role in securing global progress to establish CORSIA, enabling our goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020
  • Commissioned some independent research to better understand communities concerns around noise, with a plan to issue a discussion paper next year
  • Published a report which showed that aviation is responsible for just 1% of UK NOx, compared to 32% from road transport
  • Created 2000 new jobs since 2014 with around 3,500 apprentices are employed in the industry.

Launching the Report at the event yesterday, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, Ian Jopson, said:

“Aviation is a UK success story. However, delivering environmentally sustainable aviation growth in the UK, with the significant economic benefits that it brings, is a challenge that our industry is ready to meet. Our sixth Progress Report sets out what has been achieved over the past two years.

“We have seen passenger numbers increase by nearly 30m since 2014 and further growth is expected. However, as demonstrated in our latest Progress Report, we have disconnected that rate of growth from growth in CO2 and noise over the past two years. We recognise there is more to do.

“The industry is committed to playing its role; however, we can’t achieve sustainable growth without the support and action of Government. The Industrial Strategy and Aviation Strategy are good opportunities for Government to take a proactive approach in this area.”

Also speaking at the launch, Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said:

“The aviation sector is one of our key industries, essential to our future prosperity and the very symbol of global Britain. Our determination to increase connectivity with emerging economies and established trade partners is reflective of our outward-looking approach. But as we continue to push the boundaries of success, sustainability must remain at the heart of everything we do. I very much welcome this report by Sustainable Aviation. Sustainable growth is one of the key objectives of the government’s long term strategy for UK aviation and I am encouraged by the actions of the aviation industry to embrace that commitment.”

Notes to editors:

The full report is available here:

Sustainable Aviation is a coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and the air traffic service provider, which works to deliver cleaner, quieter, smarter flying. It acts as a long term strategy which sets out the collective approach of UK aviation to tackling the challenge of ensuring a sustainable future for the UK aviation industry.

Launched in 2005, it is a world first, bringing together major UK airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers towards a collective sustainability goal.

A full list of Sustainable Aviation members is available here:

For further information please contact info@sustainableaviation.local

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