Impact of Climate Change on Business Aviation
02 December 2023| By Just Aviation Team
While climate change presents a formidable global challenge, it has propelled innovation and adaptation across numerous spheres of human life, fostering resilience in health, food security, biodiversity, and economic progress. Yet, amidst these advancements, its influence on impact aviation safety remains a critical consideration. Aviation stands as a cornerstone of global connectivity, trade facilitation, and tourism, catalyzing economic prosperity and societal advancement. However, this vital industry faces the evolving landscape of climate change, prompting a renewed focus on bolstering its safety, efficiency, and sustainability against potential risks.
Just Aviation specializes in providing solutions for the challenges and opportunities that climate change brings to the aviation industry. We understand that climate change can affect the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your flights, and we are here to help you adapt and thrive in a changing environment. With Just Aviation, you can enjoy the benefits of flying with confidence and peace of mind.
The Effects of Climate Change on Impact Aviation Safety
Climate change can affect impact aviation safety in several ways, such as:
Changes In Temperature
Higher temperatures can reduce the air density and the lift force of the wings, which can affect the aircraft performance and require longer runways or reduced payload. According to a study by Columbia University, by 2050, 10-30% of flights departing during the hottest time of the day may have to reduce their weight by up to 4% to take off safely. This could result in increased costs, delays, and cancellations for airlines and passengers. Higher temperatures can also increase the risk of overheating and fire hazards for aircraft engines and systems.
Changes In Precipitation
More intense and frequent rainfall, snowfall, and hail can cause flooding, icing, and damage to the aircraft and the airport infrastructure. In 2022, heavy rain caused a control tower to flood, temporarily closing an airport in Europe. Precipitation can also reduce the visibility and increase the turbulence, which can affect the flight operations and the comfort of the passengers and crew.
Changes In Storm Patterns
More severe and unpredictable storms can increase the frequency and intensity of lightning strikes, wind shear, and crosswinds, which can damage the aircraft and endanger the flight safety. In 2018, a lightning strike caused a fire on a business jet in Brazil, forcing an emergency landing. Storms can also disrupt the air traffic management and the flight schedules, leading to more delays and diversions.
Changes In Sea Level
Rising sea levels and storm surges can threaten the coastal airports and the navigation systems, which can affect the accessibility and the reliability of the aviation services. According to a study by the European Commission, by the end of the century, under a high warming scenario, up to 200 airports across the EU could face the risk of inundation due to sea level rise and extreme weather events. The majority of these are small airports with less than 10,000 air traffic movements per year, but many are important for connectivity and economic reasons.
Changes In Wind Patterns
Shifting and changing wind patterns can affect the flight routes, the fuel consumption, and the emissions of the aircraft. For example, a study by the University of Reading found that the transatlantic flight times could increase by up to 15 minutes by 2050 due to the strengthening of the jet stream, which could result in an extra 5.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Wind patterns can also affect the noise exposure and the air quality around the airports, which can have implications for the health and the well-being of the local communities.
How the Aviation Industry Can Adapt and Build Resilience
The aviation industry is not passive in the face of climate change. It has been taking proactive steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changing climate conditions. Some of the actions that the aviation industry can take to enhance its safety and sustainability in a changing climate are:
These schemes aim to reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft ground movements by overcoming long taxi-in and taxi-out times, optimizing the pushback and towing procedures, and using electric or hybrid vehicles for ground support equipment. IATA found that implementing a single-engine taxiing policy could save up to 3.5% of fuel burn and reduce CO2 emissions by 8.9 million tonnes per year.
Air Quality Index Improvement Schemes
These schemes aim to reduce APU utilization at apron, which can generate noise and air pollution, by providing alternative sources of power and air conditioning for the aircraft, such as ground power units and pre-conditioned air units. The European Commission found that replacing APU usage by ground power units could reduce NOx emissions by 34% and PM10 emissions by 26%.
Paperless Operation Schemes
These schemes aim to amplify human potential with digital skills and reduce paper consumption and waste by using electronic devices and systems for ground operations, such as tablets, smartphones, scanners, and RFID tags. A study found that using electronic bag tags could reduce paper usage by 50% and save up to $3 billion per year for the industry.
Cabin Waste Management Schemes
These schemes aim to reduce and recycle cabin waste responsibly by implementing waste segregation, composting, and circular economy practices. IATA found that implementing a cabin waste management program could reduce waste generation by 30% and increase recycling rates by 50%.
Facility Usage Optimization Schemes
These schemes aim to optimize the use of airport facilities and resources, such as gates, stands, and terminals, by using data analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation. A gate allocation optimization system could reduce the number of gate changes by 80% and increase the gate utilization by 15%.
Climate change is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that can have significant impacts on impact aviation safety and business. The aviation industry needs to be aware of the potential risks and opportunities that climate change can bring, and to take proactive and adaptive measures to cope with them. By doing so, the aviation industry can not only enhance its safety and sustainability, but also contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Just Aviation is more than just a flight support company. We are your trusted partner and advisor in the aviation industry. We have the expertise and the experience to help you cope with the impact of climate change on aviation safety. We are committed to delivering high-quality and cost-effective services, with a focus on customer satisfaction and innovation.