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Green Skies: How the Aviation Industry is Becoming More Sustainable

13 JUN 2012
Career Path : Engineering Technology

With the unavoidable rise of the green wave, industries are devoting more of their resources to adopting sustainable practices. This is, by all counts, a good thing. While we see cities devoting highway lanes to busses and responsible carpoolers, and urban streets being redesigned to fit freshly paved bike paths, what we don’t see is what is being done above eye level. Particularly, in the aircraft industry.

We can all admit that planes are the epitome of convenient travel. They are fast, often times affordable, and, despite whatever fears have been induced by watching too many high-profile news reports and bad movies, the casualty rate is incredibly low. As public transit systems become more sophisticated and are being redesigned to convert the car-driving masses, there aren’t many alternative transit options to planes when we want to get half way across the world.

Although their efforts may not seem as apparent (or pungent) as your neighbour’s compost, the aviation industry is hard at work to develop ways to contribute to the sustainable movement. In fact, almost every facet of the industry is slowly becoming greener. Let’s take a look at a few examples of which facets of the aviation industry are hard at work and the sustainable practices they are employing.



Displaced ventilation systems to keep the air cool and fresh.

Renewable energies for power supply.

Lower-flow toilets, sinks and urinals cuts potable water use by over 30%.

Water stations for passengers to fill up re-useable water bottles.

Recycling of materials (grass, concrete) to revitalize on-site landscaping.



Boeing 787 Dreamliner: First launched in December 2009, The Dreamliner boasts light weight by way of carbon-fiber for the fuselage and wings. The plane’s weight allows for fuel efficiency, totaling 20 percent less fuel per passenger, and emits fewer carbon emissions.

Bombardier CSeries: Bombardier promises that when the CSeries launches in 2013, the single aisle jet will “deliver dramatic energy savings.”


Aviation Ground Support Equipment

A new emergence of lithium-battery powered ground support equipment is promising:

Better air quality

Less Fuel Consumption

Less GHG Emissions

Reduced maintenance costs


At first, ground service equipment may not seem as though it is a vital component to sustainable initiatives, but in truth, those machines are on the ground from morning until night, carrying baggage and directing planes through the runway.


The aviation industry has yet to see the true effects of their new initiatives. But in due time we can expect to see greener skies.


Visit GTA Aviation Ground Equipment Specialties for more information on  airline equipment.