Sustainable Aviation Initiatives In Spotlight
The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) predicts COVID-19 will have a 16% impact on traffic 30 years from now, the group said in a report, “Waypoint 2050.”
“Over the course of just a few months, we’ve lost over 15 years’ worth of growth in passenger traffic. That impact has been so large that it’s reset the projections of future growth all the way out to 2050 and beyond. The numbers are simply astounding,” ATAG executive director Michael Gill told delegates at a virtual Global Sustainable Aviation Forum.
“It is a little bit unnerving to see that the short shutdown in global traffic this year is still going to have an impact in 2050. The central forecast we used for the study shows traffic in 2050 down 16%, compared with the same forecast before COVID hit. But still, by 2050, we expect to see around 10 billion passengers.”
The report predicts a 3% compound annual growth rate from 2019 until 2050, driven by Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, although North America and Europe will still see “significant growth.”
By 2050, aviation is aiming to halve its CO2 emissions, compared with 2005 levels. Waypoint 2050 supports this ambition and goes a step further, suggesting that net-zero global air transport emissions could be achieved by 2060-65, with some regions and individual companies reaching that goal sooner. Most of the sustainability measures suggested by the report are not new. They include a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives, new technologies and operational improvements—and the need for funding in these areas.
ATAG does not regard the report as a roadmap. Instead, it is described as a “detailed analysis of different pathways” to achieve the 2050 goal. “Waypoints are not the destination, they’re a marker on the way to a destination, and in our case that endpoint is zero-carbon connectivity by air,” Gill said.