With sustainability being the focus of NBAA’s annual convention next week, Deloitte Consulting has authored a white paper on the decarbonization of aviation and the impact new technology solutions will have on lowering scope 3 emissions, which include those produced by aircraft.
According to the report, without the implementation of decarbonization procedures and technologies, aviation emissions could be responsible for 22 percent of the planet’s total emissions by 2050.
While the industry has issued ambitious goals for the coming decades, the path to meeting those 2050 emissions reduction targets remains challenging as there is no silver bullet that will ensure the industry meets its goals, the report stated.
Among the most promising methods for reducing scope 3 emissions are sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and electric propulsion. SAFs are likely to be the best possible solution for reducing emissions in medium-to-long-haul flights, while electric propulsion could be the most feasible zero-emission solution for smaller aircraft and short-haul flights.
For long-haul aircraft, the focus should be on increasing the production capabilities of SAFs (both bio-SAFs and synthetic SAFs) to drive down the price and increase acceptance, the company noted. It cautioned that while bio-SAFs could only be a net-zero solution over the fuels’ life cycle, synthetic SAFs hold the potential to be a zero-emission solution.