As the aviation industry slowly recovers from the lasting effects of the pandemic, many organizations are embracing this as a time to think critically about modernization and innovation efforts in their respective lines of business. Sustainability in aviation has long been a topic of interest among industry experts, but it seems that it is becoming an even higher priority among decision makers as they look to revamp their business operations in this industry rebirth of sorts.

To highlight this trend and showcase how major industry players are responding to more concerted calls for sustainable practices, we’ve compiled a few compelling stories in the roundup below. Here’s what’s happening in aviation around the topic of sustainability:

JetBlue Sets Big Goals for Emissions, Recycling, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel Usage

According to a recent article in Environment + Energy Leader, JetBlue has announced several different sustainability-focused initiatives for both the short and long term, including increased use of renewable energy and sustainable fuel, as well as the goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for the airline by 2040.

“According to JetBlue, oversight of key ESG issues is good for business and generates long-term value,” stated the article. “In 2020, JetBlue became the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flying, today primarily through carbon offsets while the industry builds up lower-carbon technologies to reduce direct emissions.”

Establishing precedent and best practices for these initiatives is crucial for making headway towards a more sustainable aviation industry. With industry players like JetBlue leading the charge, a blueprint can be made for other airlines to succeed in these efforts.

Read the full story here.

Raising the Stakes on Sustainability

In the latest issue of the European Regions Airline Association’s publication, Collins Aerospace President Steve Timm offered his thoughts on the chance to innovate in the vein of sustainability as the aviation industry recovers from the global pandemic. While better sustainability practices have long been on the docket for aviation leaders, the industry is undergoing immense change as a result of COVID-19 and Timm thinks this presents a golden opportunity to adopt more robust sustainability-focused policies and technologies.

“Building more fuel-efficient, cost-effective solutions has always been a priority – those principles are foundational to the technological leadership aerospace provides,” he wrote. “But right now, as we’re rebuilding, we have the unique opportunity to broaden our perspective and reimagine ourselves through the lens of sustainability in a way that accelerates our positive contribution to net-zero.” Timm asked aviation leaders to bring the same sense of urgency and critical thinking to sustainability challenges as has been put forth to combat complications due to COVID-19.

Read the full story here.

Digitalization, Sustainability, and Resilience: The Keys to Recovery

In a recent byline by Jesús Caballero Pinto, Director of Seville Airport, for International Airport Review, Pinto spoke to the ongoing transformation being seen across the aviation industry, largely in response to the global pandemic. According to Pinto, the digitalization of the airport ecosystem and increasing efforts around sustainability are both crucial to the resilience of the industry as a whole.

“The digitalization of airports will make it possible to implement customer-centric management using technology which will optimize work processes while also making it possible to segment services, identify needs and even predict trends or potential problems,” Pinto wrote. This is a trend that Connected Aviation Today has paid close attention to as more passengers return to travel, specifically with regards to the touchless passenger journey.

Pinto also touched on the importance of continued efforts focused on sustainability and the long-term value it brings to airports. He leveraged Aena (the managing company for the Seville Airport) as a prime example for aggressive changes around sustainability, noting elements like the company’s carbon neutrality program.

Read the full story here.

Airlines Should Focus on Financial Management and New Technologies for their Mid-Term Sustainability Plan: Poll

Aerospace Technology recently covered a poll conducted by Verdict around where airlines should be directing their attention and funds when considering their mid-term sustainability plans. Financial management and innovation and use of new technologies were the top two areas of focus according to respondents. With more tools dedicated to those efforts specifically, sustainability can continue to grow as a priority among aviation decision makers.

“Most airlines are considering multiple transformation programs in order to dilute the impact of COVID-19 and incorporate elements of sustainability,” the article explained. “European Union, for example, is proceeding with European Green Deal to align with the improved environmental awareness of their customer base and incorporate social responsibility among the industry’s executives and employees.”

In a time when a transformation is not only probable but necessary, the timing makes sense for airlines to weave more sustainability-focused initiatives into their priorities.

Read the full story here.

Airlines Chart Long, Uncertain—But Feasible—Path to Sustainable Air Travel

Michael Baker of Business Travel News outlined the path towards sustainable air travel as discussed by various leaders in the aviation industry. In an effort to get ahead of anticipated industry regulations like ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), many airlines are establishing their own plan of action with some goals looking 30 years into the future.

“Individual airlines are setting their own goalposts beyond CORSIA,” Baker wrote. “Delta last year committed to carbon neutrality, pledging an investment of $1 billion over the next decade to mitigate emissions from its business, and it also has voluntarily decided to cap its emissions at 2012 levels…United Airlines late last year pledged a 100 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. American Airlines, along with other airlines in the Oneworld alliance, have pledged to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050.”

Baker elaborated on the need to think beyond carbon offsets and think more about making aircraft themselves greener and fuel more sustainable. While there is a long road ahead for the aviation industry when it comes to sustainability, it’s clear that major players in the space are taking steps in the right direction.

Read the full story here

Executive Spotlight on Henry Brooks and the Future of Electric Aircraft

The editors of Connected Aviation Today recently spoke with Henry Brooks, President of Power & Controls at Collins Aerospace about the future of the electric aircraft. Brooks has his eye on the future of aviation. Overseeing this global business, his team is at the heart of redefining aviation and aerospace as they create more sustainable, energy-efficient aircraft systems.

Brooks sees endless possibilities for the future of power and control for aircraft systems. “When you think about it, if it generates power or distributes power or it controls the environment inside of an aircraft or an engine for that matter, we are involved,” he said.

This focus on electric power is at the center of creating an electric aircraft. “We are uniquely qualified to progress the evolution of the electric aircraft with power control systems, environmental and airframe control, and creating more efficient operations moving forward.” Brooks explained that the future desire is to augment gas turbine engines with electric propulsion enabling a more efficient gas turbine engine. This will improve environmental conditions and reduce the industry’s overall carbon footprint.

Read the full story here.