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Survey shows travelers expect more environmental flying in the future

July 6, 2012, 05:08 pm

A recent Airbus survey of more than 1.75 million people in 192 countries over a two-year period gave insight on the public perception of air travel in the future. The results were recently released, just days before the Farnborough International Airshow in England, and showed that 66 percent of respondents indicated quieter air traffic was important while nearly 40 percent felt that flying is becoming increasingly less stressful.

The most significant complaints by air travelers about flying was slow check-in and baggage collection, sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off and circling in holding patterns around the airport.

"Capacity constraints are a sign of things to come unless the industry can work together to cut delays, and with aviation set to double in the next 15 years, that's what we're looking at," said Charles Champion, Airbus executive vice president of engineering.  “It’s clear that people are really excited about the future of sustainable flight, and we want them to be part of shaping that future."

The study showed that 96 percent of respondents believe aircraft will need to be more sustainable or eco-efficient, 86 percent believe less fuel burn is key, 85 percent want a reduction in carbon emissions and 65 percent want aircraft that are fully recyclable.

"Aviation is the real World Wide Web," Champion said. "The world is woven together by a web of flights that creates ever-expanding social and economic networks: 57 million jobs, 35 percent of world trade and $2.2 trillion in global GDP.

Even with the rise in popularity of social media, 60 percent of respondents did not think technology would replace face-to-face contact at an airport.

Alongside the study, Airbus developed a Concept Plane that has slim wings, semi-embedded engines, a U-shaped tail and lightweight fuselage. The result of such a prototype would lower fuel burn and cut carbon emissions significantly.

Airbus reported that 90 percent of the 2 billion euros the company spends on research and development goes toward improving environmental performance of aircraft. As of now, each passenger on its A380 plane requires three liters of fuel to travel 100 kilometers, the same amount as a small family car. The A380 will be in service in 2015 and is expected to save up to 15 percent in fuel savings.

Airbus reported that the aviation industry as a whole cut down of fuel burn and emissions by 70 percent and on noise pollution by 75 percent in the last 40 years. Pilots preparing for the next 40 years of aviation should consider pilot life insurance to ensure their loved ones' financial future.

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