Aito was right to use its recent overseas conference to focus on the climate crisis, and the collective response of the aviation and travel sectors to what is the most important strategic issue of the day.
As they set out in Poland, it is imperative industry is seen to be responding to the entirely legitimate concerns the public – and by consequence ministers and other policy makers – have as to our ability to continue growing while dealing with our carbon emissions, and helping government hit its net-zero carbon target by 2050.
As has been made clear to us, aviation cannot be seen to be resting on its laurels while other sectors take active steps to reduce their carbon. Our license to continue serving our customers, and respond to ever-growing public demand for air travel and overseas holidays, depends on it.
We all need to work together to address this though, and collaboration within industry – and with government – will be vital. Sustainable Aviation – a coalition of airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers – will in the New Year set out how net zero carbon emissions can be achieved, focussing on four key areas.
These are: establishing and investing in a robust carbon removal market; continuing to support and invest in new technologies and operational measures; delivering on the potential of sustainable aviation fuels; and completing the process of airspace modernisation.
Clearly, none of these things can be achieved by industry alone. Only by working in partnership will we deliver the progress we need.
If we get this right, the UK can lead the way in developing the low carbon, green economy of the future, while providing aviation with the platform to achieve net zero status.
This issue is rightly here to stay, but by the time of the next Aito conference, we should be well on the way to allaying public concerns.