We believe that a wholly new and radical approach needs to be adopted for route allocation of airlines across the world. It’s “out of the box” thinking, to help address the sustainability challenges of aviation.
Rather than the currently “infinite” growth model, a total CO2 global aviation budget needs to be established for international and domestic aviation worldwide. Beneath that CO2 global budget, each route would be allocated a sub-set CO2 budget.
In very simple terms this would, in effect, create an overall constraint upon aviation, and similar to current airport constraints where airlines need to bid for take of and landing slots and set schedules each year. As a another simple high level explanation, airlines would then bid for whole routes and they would need to stay within their allocated CO2 budget. The more CO2 efficient they are, the more frequencies they can operate, and the less efficient, they lose out.
This approach would create a significant incentive to operate more fuel efficient aircraft which not only provides an environmental benefit, but also significant financial benefits to forward-thinking and efficient airlines, delivering them an even bigger return on their investments in new aircraft and technology and eco-solutions.
There’s certainly a lot of fine details and coordination across the industry, governments, ICAO, Associations, airports, etc, to be worked out for this scheme to work. We have given it a working title of the “Eco-Managed Aviation” initiative, or EMA, for the time being. It’s a brave new vision, a huge step-change, but it’s an essential tool in seriously addressing increasing aviation emissions.