Antonio López de Avila.jpg
Antonio López de Ávila, Director, Executive Master in Tourism Management
Air Pollution, this topic is on newspapers almost everyday in the last weeks: “Air companies are also responsible for climate changing”. Is it new? Not at all.
The 3 days closing of the USA air space after September 11th, showed how aircraft emmissions have an important role in climate changing. From midday September 11 to midday September 14, the days had become warmer and the nights cooler, with the overall range greater by about two degrees Fahrenheit (see The Contrail Effect).
But, not flying is a valid answer? or more taxes? Of course, not.
I think aerospace companies (like Airbus and Boeing) should invest more in I+D related to environment (less emmissions, less noise, etc.) and do people know about its efforts as the car manufacturers have being doing since the 80s.
Innovation, not restrictions, I think that’s the right answer. What do you think? Are more taxes the right answer?
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Zach Skyles Owens January 19, 2007 - 9:36 am

Antonio, I believe that in many respects humanity has passed a point of no-return in terms how we approach solving issues such as this and we must count on innovation. I don’t think that people will stop flying, driving or using cell phones; so we must develop the technologies to make these activities less harmful on the environment.
At the same time I think that taxation and government enforced restrictions/penalties play an important role in driving industry to innovate. Take for example the relaxed US laws for the past 20 years on vehicle fuel efficiency (more accurately inefficiency). We have seen almost zero innovation until the past few years. If the US government would have tightened restrictions back in the 70’s auto manufacturers would have responded years ago and we wouldn’t be left with gas guzzling H2’s and Blazers that will be plaguing the environment for another 20 years!
In my opinion, tackling problems this big will require a mixed approach.

antonio lopez de avila January 21, 2007 - 1:29 pm

Zach, thanks for your comments. It is just what I wanted to read. Sometimes it is hard to admit, but usually corporations innovate only when they are forced to do it, in order to save costs o avoid taxes (like in this case).
Green taxes will force air companies to ask their providers (Airbus, Boeing, etc.) to innovate and design aircraft less harmful on the environment.
Yes, if we take into account whtat has happended in the past, I think a mixed approach in needed.

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