The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been spelling out its vision of air travel in 2050, promising clean, safe and delay-free travel for the world’s travelers.
IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani, buoyed by new projections that suggest this year will see the first recovery in airline profitability after the recession, laid out his plans a day ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show which begins June 8.
Under the organization’s Vision 2050 plan, in 40 years the world’s airlines will be “very close to zero accidents” and emitting half the carbon with the help of locally-produced biofuels from jatropha, camelina, algae or even urban waste, which could “break the tyranny of oil.”
“Today’s jet fuel cannot sustain our industry,” said Bisignani, “our biggest opportunity is biofuels with the potential to reduce our carbon footprint by 80 percent.”
After test flights from several airlines, certification of biofuel-powered flights is expected within a year, he added.
Consumers will also be traveling with almost no delays, he predicted, suggesting that a consolidation of air traffic control services (resulting in ten global organizations instead of 180 currently) will make air travel far more efficient.
IATA believes that the current system of air traffic control, where countries are responsible for their own airspace, wastes some 16 million tonnes of CO2 every year in delays and indirect routings in Europe alone.
Bisignani also described the recent disruption to global travel caused by ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano as a “wake-up call” and a “reminder that without air connectivity, modern life is not possible.”