Pipe: Aviation

The Cost of Limiting Climate Change Could Double without Carbon Capture Technology

Fri, 2014-04-18 15:13

The economics of combating climate change may depend on an underfunded technology.

When it comes to technology for averting climate change, renewable energy often gets the limelight. But a relatively neglected technology—capturing carbon dioxide from power plants—could have a far bigger impact on the economics of dealing with climate change, according to a U.N. report released earlier this week.


Boost for British Airways and Solena waste-to-jet fuel GreenSky project as location of facility is confirmed

Tue, 2014-04-15 19:10
Wed 16 Apr 2014 - The British Airways and Solena project to convert landfill waste into jet fuel has received a major boost with the announcement of the location chosen for the facility. The site will be in the Thames Enterprise Park, a regeneration project just east of London on the estuary of the River Thames that includes a former oil refinery. Work on building the GreenSky facility is expected to start in 2015 and employ around 1,000 workers in the construction, which is due to be completed in 2017, and create up to 150 permanent jobs when operational. British Airways is providing construction capital and becoming a minority shareholder in the $500 million GreenSky project. The airline has committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices, currently worth around $550 million.

Averting Disastrous Climate Change Could Depend on Unproven Technologies

Mon, 2014-04-14 18:01

A U.N. climate report says we’ll overshoot greenhouse gas targets, and will need new technologies to make up for it.

A U.N. climate report released on Sunday concludes that there may still be time to limit global warming to an increase of two degrees Celsius or less, which could help the world avoid the worst effects of climate change. But doing so will depend on making extraordinary changes to energy infrastructure at a much faster pace than is happening now, and may require the use of controversial and unproven technologies for pulling greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.


NASA signs agreements with German and Canadian partners to test impact of alternative fuels at altitude

Mon, 2014-04-14 14:06
Mon 14 Apr 2014 - NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are due to begin on May 7 from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. The programme will be the latest in a series of NASA ground and flight tests that began in 2009 to study emissions and contrails formation from new blends of renewable aviation fuels. ACCESS I tests showed that such blends may substantially reduce emissions of black carbon, sulphates and organics, says NASA. ACCESS II will gather additional data, with an emphasis on studying contrail formation.

First round-the-world solar powered flight to take place in 2015 as Solar Impulse 2 is unveiled

Mon, 2014-04-14 12:05
Mon 14 Apr 2014 - The Solar Impulse team have unveiled the second version of their aircraft that has been designed to complete the world's first round-the-world solar-powered flight. The two co-founders - explorer Bertrand Piccard and engineer Andre Borschberg - will take turns to fly Solar Impulse 2 eastwards from continent to continent starting in March 2015 from the Gulf area. As well as a feat of aviation innovation, the aim of the project is to promote clean technology around the world. With a technical team of 80 specialists, it has so far taken 12 years of calculations, simulations, construction and testing. With a weight of just 2,300kg, the single-seater aircraft has a huge wingspan of 72 metres – longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747 and only 8 metres shorter than the Airbus A380. The wings, fuselage and horizontal tailplane contain 17,248 highly-efficient solar cells, each only 135 microns thick, the same as a human hair.

IPCC report highlights need for collective and significant action to keep warming below 2°C

Mon, 2014-04-14 05:58
The latest report by the United Nations scientific panel on climate change shows that collective and significant global action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep global warming below 2°C. The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that the longer we wait, the more expensive and technologically challenging meeting this goal will be.

Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense?

Mon, 2014-04-14 00:00

Tesla’s audacious plan to build a giant battery factory may mostly be a clever negotiating tactic.

Lithium-ion batteries are just about everywhere—they power almost all smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Yet in three years, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, says he intends to build a single factory in the United States that will more than double the world’s total lithium-ion battery production. The plan is still in its early stages, but already four states are negotiating with Tesla in the hope of becoming the factory’s home.


ACI’s airport carbon programme extends its reach as Incheon becomes South Korea's first accredited airport

Thu, 2014-04-10 13:47
Thu 10 Apr 2014 - Seoul's Incheon International Airport has become the first South Korean airport to achieve certification in ACI's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme. There are four levels of certification and the airport reached the third 'Optimisation' level. Under the programme, an airport must first measure its carbon footprint (Level 1) and put in place carbon management procedures to show emissions reductions (Level 2). To achieve Level 3, it must then engage with third party service providers at the airport, such as ground handlers and catering companies, to further reduce emissions. It also involves engagement with authorities and users on surface access to and from the airport. Launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, the voluntary programme now has around 80 airports participating on three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia.

British Airways opts for credit360’s sustainability software to monitor its carbon reduction performance

Thu, 2014-04-10 07:47
Thu 10 Apr 2014 - British Airways has selected sustainability software company credit360 to monitor and help reduce the airline's carbon footprint. The software will be used to track the fuel burn and carbon emissions per passenger kilometre for every aircraft in the fleet and will allow BA to compare and contrast the sustainability performance of different aircraft and identify areas for improvement. The system will also be deployed to help collect and manage a wide range of social and environmental indicators across more than 200 sites. In line with its One Destination sustainability plan, the airline has a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 from a 2005 baseline. British Airways is the first airline customer for credit360, which has signed up 30 other organisations over the past year for its sustainability software and now has more than 175 clients worldwide.

North Sea helicopter ban on large workers

Wed, 2014-04-09 14:26
The oil industry and unions have expressed alarm over a new safety rule from the Civil Aviation Authority following a spate of fatal accidents

Boeing receives EPA's highest energy efficiency award for its operations as it strives for zero emissions growth

Wed, 2014-04-09 13:43
Wed 9 Apr 2014 - For the second year in succession, Boeing has been awarded 'Energy Star Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence' recognition by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its leadership in energy efficiency. Award winners are selected from around 16,000 organisations participating in the Energy Star voluntary programme and Boeing is among 16 other 'Partners of the Year' recognised by an award in the industrial category. Boeing has received the Energy Star award each year since 2011 and reached the Sustained Excellence level in 2013. From 2007 to 2012, Boeing reduced its energy consumption by 3 per cent on an absolute basis, the equivalent of energy to power 44,000 US homes for a year. Last year, it set new targets of zero growth for greenhouse gas emissions by 2017.

Why Google’s Modular Smartphone Might Actually Succeed

Mon, 2014-04-07 12:00

Google believes open hardware innovation could help it find industries and markets for its software and services.

In a two-story building in an industrial district of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ara Knaian shows off prototypes of what could be the industry’s first completely modular smartphone.


Feisty exchanges over Aviation EU ETS as European Parliament votes to continue with ‘Stop the Clock’

Thu, 2014-04-03 12:13
Thu 3 Apr 2014 - The European Parliament today voted in favour of a compromise agreement brokered between Parliament rapporteurs and EU member states, represented by the European Council. The vote will see a resumption of the 'Stop the Clock' (STC) scope in which only intra-European Economic Area (EEA) flights will be covered by the Aviation EU ETS, rather than the proposal by the European Commission to also include emissions from international flights within EEA airspace. Despite the large majority in favour of the compromise - 458 for, 120 against and 24 abstentions - the vote was preceded by feisty exchanges between MEPs in a debate on the issue. STC will now run from 2013 until the end of 2016 and the agreement allows for a return to the original full scope of the scheme from 2017 should an agreement at ICAO to implement a global market-based mechanism from 2020 not be reached at its Assembly in 2016.

Critical week for the Aviation EU ETS as MEPs hear arguments on which proposal to support

Mon, 2014-03-31 10:29
Mon 31 Mar 2014 - With a crucial vote in the European Parliament this week, MEPs will be presented with two choices that will likely determine the future of the Aviation EU ETS until at least 2016. As the lead environment committee (ENVI) voted by the narrowest of margins on March 19 to reject a trilogue compromise agreed with EU member states to continue with the 'Stop the Clock' (STC) scope of the scheme, the airspace proposal put forward by the European Commission and supported by a majority of ENVI members will be the text presented to the plenary session. However, the STC trilogue deal is expected to be tabled as an amendment and may well achieve majority support. Meanwhile, NGOs are urging MEPs to vote for the airspace approach while representatives from the aviation industry are calling for a vote against and in favour of the trilogue deal. The debate on the issue will be held on Wednesday evening (April 2) with the vote taking place the following morning.

US demonstration plant starts daily production of drop-in renewable jet and biodiesel fuels

Fri, 2014-03-28 10:17
Fri 28 Mar 2014 - A newly-commissioned demonstration-scale facility in St Joseph, Missouri has started 24/7 operations that will see production of 4,200 gallons per day of renewable jet and diesel fuels from industrial and waste oils. The venture is a partnership of Applied Research Associates (ARA), Blue Sun Energy and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), and uses a propriety process called Biofuels Isoconversion (BIC) to produce 100 per cent drop-in diesel and jet fuels. The partners claim the low-cost process can convert any non-edible fats and oils directly into high-density, aromatic cycloparaffin and isoparaffin hydrocarbons that are ideal for drop-in military and civilian jet fuels. ARA and CLG were amongst participants in a Canadian project in 2012 that included the first flight of a civilian aircraft using unblended renewable jet biofuel.

Gatwick goes on the noise offensive with compensation pledge to help win battle for a new London runway

Thu, 2014-03-27 14:11
Thu 27 Mar 2014 - As competition hots up to persuade the UK government-appointed Airports Commission, and ultimately Parliament, on their own cases for building a new runway, London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports have stressed the importance of winning the aircraft noise debate. Believed to be the first airport in the world to make such an offer, Gatwick has committed to pay annual compensation of around £1,000 ($1,600) to local households most affected by aircraft noise should it receive approval for a new second runway. It has also released a supportive noise management report that benchmarks its approach with other leading UK and European airports. Heathrow, meanwhile, has pointed to a survey it commissioned from pollsters Populus that aircraft noise is only the seventh most important aspect of a London airport for Londoners.

Malaysia reveals more images of debris

Wed, 2014-03-26 09:50
French satellite from March 23 shows 122 objects in southern Indian Ocean, near two earlier sets of debris, as search for missing aircraft resumes

Malaysia reveals more images of debris

Wed, 2014-03-26 09:50
French satellite from March 23 shows 122 objects in southern Indian Ocean, near two earlier sets of debris, as search for missing aircraft resumes

Converting airport equipment to electric at Sea-Tac to save $2.8 million of fuel and 10,000 tons of emissions annually

Tue, 2014-03-25 12:03
Tue 25 Mar 2014 - One of North America's greenest airports, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has launched a $31 million project to provide nearly 600 electric charging stations for ground support equipment (GSE) such as baggage tugs, bag ramps and pushback vehicles. Converting the GSE to electric is projected to save around $2.8 million in airline fuel costs and 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Alaska Airlines is already switching 204 fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric - 146 with Alaska and 58 with Horizon - and more airlines will join the programme later this year. A large part of the funding is coming from federal grants including from the US Department of Energy and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

MH370 families furious at China officials

Tue, 2014-03-25 06:01
Families take to the streets in Beijing, storming the Malaysian embassy and raising the political stakes for the Chinese leadership