Scope of Improvement on the Environmental Impact of Air Travel

Abstract

The given project is devoted to the in-depth investigation of the problem of air travel environmental impact and the ways it can be improved. The significance and importance of the problem precondition the increased attention to the analysis of the aviation industry as one of the most fast-growing spheres that possess outstanding strategic importance. The paper evaluates the opportunities for the minimisation of the negative impact via the improvement of aircraft and operations’ effectiveness, use of alternative fuels and reduction of air travel through the use of direct flights. Qualitative methods of research supported by the inductive paradigm are utilised with the pivotal task to conduct the comprehensive investigation of the outlined problem by collecting relevant data from various sources and interviewing workers of aviation companies. Results prove the existence of the negative impact, individuals’ growing awareness and the effectiveness of outlined solutions

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Introduction

The proposed research project is designed with the central purpose to investigate the current state of the aviation industry and critical problems related to the environmental impact on air travel. The scope of the selected topic is evidenced by the fact that multiple agencies demonstrate their concerns associated with the further development of the sphere and the inevitable increase in the amount of air, water and earth pollution. At the same time, there are some suggestions about the possible ways to improve the situation by using alternative fuels, more effective aircraft and routes to minimise potential harm done to the environment. For this reason, the study rests on the investigation of the relevant literature devoted to the issue to collect information about the problem, answer the main research question and contribute to the improved understanding of the selected aspect. The following section offers the background information related to the research and the problems the aviation sphere faces today. There is also a rationale for the research question and justification of the discussed topics.

Background of the Research

The modern globalised world demands high speed of communication and travel to support its further development. For this reason, today, we can observe the tendency towards the facilitation of the aviation sphere’s development as one of the fastest and safest means of transport. The future evolution of society and international relations is impossible without the appropriate rise of air travel and airlines that will be able to satisfy people’s demands. Under these conditions, the sphere of aviation acquires strategic importance as one of the guarantees of the successful evolution of the most critical domains of human activity such as business, military and societal ones. It means that in the next several decades, the given segment will continue to grow.

Another tendency peculiar to the modern world is the gradual deterioration of the environment caused by the extensive development of industries, their need for additional resources and pollutants that emerge in the course of their functioning. This situation constitutes a significant problem for communities as the health and quality of lives of their members are threatened. The aviation industry is not an exception as in accordance with multiple research works, its negative impact on the environment is also significant and continues to grow because of the fast speed of the sphere’s growth (Valdes 2015). In such a way, the high pace of the given sector’s evolution can also be taken as another factor that should be recognised by specialists who are focused on the creation and implementation of methods that can help to protect the environment. Use of innovative approaches and new technologies can be considered one of the possible ways to improve the situation by minimising the harm done to the atmosphere by planes and increased air travel.

Moreover, in a coherent society, there is a tendency towards the creation and promotion of sustainable companies that are characterised by the minimal negative impact on the environment and communities. Regarding this tendency, the transformation of the majority of airlines and reconsideration of their functioning to meet the new demands to avoid the deterioration of communities becomes one of the concerns of the modern world. As far as the aviation sector affects all countries and regions of the world, the scope of the problem means that the introduction of the new ways to improve the impact of air travel on the atmosphere acquires the top priority globally.

At the same time, the aviation sphere remains one of the most demanding of resources and innovative technologies that are implemented with the primary aim to increase the effectiveness of flights and minimise risks emerging during air travel. For this reason, the possible solution to the problem of the negative environmental impact of the industry can found using the newest and energy-saving materials, fuels and devices to ensure a reduction of input and increase of output (ICAO 2016a). There is a critical need for the in-depth investigation of the scope of the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel and the solution to the problem. This can help in understanding the direction in which the aviation sphere should evolve and approaches that can be used.

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Finally, international agencies such as ICAO and IATA (2017) demonstrate their concerns about the situation and the tendency towards the growing negative impact of aviation on the atmosphere and environment. Trying to respond to new factors that arise in the modern world, both these organisations create plans and guidelines that can be useful in preventing the further deterioration of the environment’s quality and minimising the harm done to it. These recommendations include the use of more effective routes, green fuels and the constant focus on the further improvement of technologies used while organising flights. There is also significant attention devoted to the human factor because of the key role people play in enhancing the work of the sector and the need for gradual improvement of their understanding levels.

Justification of the Research

The selection of this research topic is stipulated by the increased importance of essential factors that impact the aviation industry and precondition the appearance of significant changes in society. First of all, there are multiple negative changes in the environment that contribute to the emergence of concerns regarding a need for new effective tools to solve this problem (Cook & Billig 2017). The quality of air, water and earth suffers from the combined impact of the constantly growing industrial sector and the use of equipment that demonstrates low effectiveness because of its inability to meet the new requirements. This statement is applicable to the sphere of aviation which holds leading positions related to the speed of development and its fundamental role in the modern globalised world (Kinnison & Siddiqui 2012). The existing trends to the further sophistication of the functioning of society, complexity of international relations and cultural exchange, there is a significant scope of new constantly emerging problems and their diversification. For this reason, there is a critical need for the detailed analysis of the presented problem with the primary aim to outline the possible scope of the improvement and how it can be achieved.

Furthermore, the already existing regulations in the given sphere show decreased effectiveness because of their inability to consider the constantly growing threats and risks associated with the further rise of the aviation industry and its becoming one of the most significant means of transport in the modern world. Possessing the critical importance for the global discourse and international relations, the field will continue to grow because of the constantly increasing demand for air travel. At the same time, it creates the basis for new issues related to different kinds of pollutions (McManners 2016). Both ICAO and IATA as one of the central agencies responsible for the functioning of aviation globally recognise the existence of the problem and the need for an effective solution. In such a way, the choice of the topic is preconditioned by the fact constantly growing importance of environmental concerns.

At the same time, there are also ideas stating that the change of climate observed today can be associated with the activity of multiple industries including the aviation sphere. For this reason, society faces the necessity to conduct the in-depth investigation of the problem to determine its scope and factors that can have both positive and negative impact on the further development of environmental concerns. The outstanding strategic importance of air travel means that there will be no decrease in the speed of its evolution, which means that the use of effective strategies to mitigate the negative impact becomes the only possible option to avoid undesired outcomes.

Altogether, all factors mentioned above can be used as the justification of the selection of the research topic, as they evidence the existence of a critical need for the in-depth investigation of the modern aviation and ways it impacts the environment to outline the most effective solutions and implement them. The evaluation of the suggested regulatory measures and technologies can help to avoid the substantial harm to the atmosphere, minimise the level of various sorts of pollution and increase the sustainability of the sector by using the better technologies and solutions to achieve needed results. That is why the topic of our project becomes justified by the increased importance of the aviation sphere and the environmental concerns that emerge today and should be given attention.

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Research Questions

Regarding the selected topic for the investigation and data that was provided in sections above, along with the need for the critical evaluation of all factors related to the issue, there is a set of research questions that can be formulated to ensure the credibility of findings, their feasibility and applicability to real-life conditions.

  1. Does the further extensive development of aviation constitute a significant threat to the environment regarding the already existing issues?
  2. What are the possible negative impacts associated with the functioning and development of the aviation sphere?
  3. What are the most effective approaches and interventions that can help to minimise the negative impact of air travel on the environment and prevent its further deterioration?
  4. Can the proposed solutions such as new fuels, better air travel, aircraft and organisation of flights improve the state of the environment and promote positive change?

These research questions are followed by the objectives that should be achieved in the course of the study to guarantee the in-depth investigation of the selected issue and improve its comprehension. They include:

  • to analyse existing environmental threats associated with the functioning of the aviation industry;
  • to study credible research literature to create the theoretical framework for the discussion;
  • to explore measures that can help to minimise emissions and reduce the harm done to the environment;
  • to evaluate such solutions as improvement of aircraft and operations’ effectiveness, use of alternative fuels and reduction of air travel via the use of direct flights;
  • to discuss possibilities for these measures implementation;
  • to provide fertile ground for new projects devoted to the investigated issue.

Formulation of these research questions and objectives creates the framework for the analysis, better data collection and its discussion as they will guide the research and ensure the appropriate findings.

Literature Review

Introduction

The initial section of the report revolves around the analysis of the relevant literature that touches upon the topic under discussion. This very review is a critical part of the project as its pivotal aim is to create the basis for the study by revealing the existing threats and problems associated with the rise of the aviation industry and increased amount of air travel, these factors’ impact on the environment, possible responses from various organisations and actors. That is why there is a comprehensive investigation of previous credible works that discuss similar problems as it will help to trace the evolution of the problem and its scope to determine if it becomes more sophisticated. At the same time, the review of literature will help to list the major threats and kinds of pollution associated with the development of the aviation industry, which is critical for the research.

Furthermore, working with literature, it is possible to find data about the options and approaches offered as possible solutions to the outlined problems, which is essential for the project as it creates the basis for discussion and further analysis. Thus, the proposed literature review reveals various kinds of pollutions and interventions such as an improvement of aircraft and operations’ effectiveness, use of alternative fuels and reduction of air travel via the use of direct flights that will be discussed in the following sections. All works that are included in this part of the paper meet the demands to the quality of sources as they rest on credible statistics and facts and contribute to the elaboration of a certain perspective on the topic (Adams & Lawrence 2018). Online databases, organisations’ reports, websites and scholarly articles are utilised to create the theoretical background for the research.

The Major Environmental Concerns Associated with Air Travel

To start the discussion of the selected issue, it is critical to outline several concerns that are fundamental for the sphere and should be considered during the investigation and debates. First of all, modern aviation can be taken one of the most fast-growing industries as its strategic significance and importance for economies serve as the potent stimuli for further development. Imports, exports, shipments, tourism and business also depend on the ability of airlines to function appropriately and meet diverse demands that emerge every day (Abeyratne 2014). That is why the speed of its development increases every year and becomes a critical factor shaping the modern world (see Figure 1 in the Appendix). However, this technologic advance and the increasing dominance of aviation are associated with the growing number of adverse effects on the environment. Considering the existing tendencies, the problems will become even more complex because of the absence of alternatives to aviation and peculiarities of aircraft’s work. In this regard, it becomes critical to investigate the environmental impact of air travel and assess possible solutions to reduce it.

Another reason for the in-depth investigation of the central peculiarities of the selected issue is the existing gaps in knowledge related to the ways air travel impact the environment and what results can be expected if no significant measures are introduced. The disregard of the given problem to a greater degree comes from the poor understanding of the existing threats to climate associated with the further rise and development of the aviation industry as a comparatively big number of passengers, along with specialists working in the sphere do not realize the scope of the problem correctly (Glicksman et al. 2015). It can precondition the emergence of dangerous or undesired precedents or substantial harm to the environment.

The problematic issue mentioned above is today associated with the work of aircraft engines, that produce heat, pollutants, emissions and gases that affect the atmosphere and contribute to the emergence of negative changes in the climate. For instance, carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the elements traditionally considered dangerous as it interacts with other gases such as black carbon, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulphur oxides resulting in the gradual deterioration of the quality of air (Glicksman et al. 2015). The hazardous character of these pollutants has already preconditioned the introduction of limits and regulations to reduce emission from automobile engines (Bridger 2013). Moreover, alternative fuels and more effective engineering solutions are introduced to minimise the negative impact of cars and other industries on the atmosphere (Abeyratne 2014). However, in the sphere of aviation, the situation remains complex.

The rapid development of air travel and the emergence of new airline companies stipulate the increase in the number of harmful substances and negative impact on the environment. The relevant statistics show that from 1990 to 2006 there was an 87% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the industry (Suder & Heidmann 2017). From 2006, the speed of aviation’s development doubled, and there is a constant increase in passenger kilometres every year (Abeyratne 2014). For this reason, the situation becomes more difficult because of the growing need for services suggested by the industry. In accordance with the research, CO2 emissions will grow because of the corresponding rise of airline companies. In such a way, agencies such as ICAO and IATA also show their concerns about the issue (IATA n.d.).

Finally, the increased level of customers’ demands to the level of comfort during flight can also be taken as a factor preconditioning the increased negative impact on the environment. Trying to satisfy clients’ needs and generate revenue, airlines disregard resource-saving or environmentally patterns and adhere to strategies that precondition further deterioration of the situation and emergence of new factors that should be considered while planning change to reduce harm. The consumer attitude to flights and aviation sphere in general, can be a risky behaviour regarding the existing need for the protection of atmosphere and minimisation of negative aspects fostering climate change globally.

In such a way, regarding the existence of other factors and industries that have a negative impact on the environment, the aspects provided about can be considered serious threats to the further development of the aviation sphere as they should be regarded while planning the future steps. The emission of harmful substances, fuel combustion, noise, water and air pollution become one of the most important environmental concerns associated with the future rise and development of the sphere. Aircraft critical importance and strategic character render impossible limitation of the current speed of development which means that there is an essential need for the introduction of effective monitoring and prevention tools that will be able to collect the appropriate data about the scope of the problem and contribute to the creation of a particular solution.

The Current State

One of the central reasons for the selection of the given topic for the discussion is that the current state of the aviation industry regarding the environment becomes threatening and should be investigated. The fact is that climate change has been one of the major concerns of various agencies for the last decade (Abdala 2018). Aircraft emit a range of different gases that are dangerous to the atmosphere as they might cause the greenhouse effect and result in the radical alterations of climate. In accordance with the latest reports, the transport sector produces 14% of global emissions with a significant share of civil aviation that becomes one of the main polluters (Higham, Ellis & Maclaurin 2019). The agencies working with this issue state that there are several fundamental factors which should become the main areas of concern for investigators and authorities that are responsible for the promotion of positive change (FAA 2018). These include air pollution, noise and other types of emission that contribute to the deterioration of the state of the planet.

That is why the significance of the selected problem increases every year with the further growth of civil aviation and the number of flights. The investigation shows that today, there is a stable tendency towards the continuous rise regarding this aspect (Grant 2017). However, a significant percentage of planes travel with not all seats occupied (Abeyratne 2016). It happens because of multiple factors including bad schedules, less and more popular directions, seasonal activity, tourism, personal and business motifs (Abeyratne 2016). In such a way, there is a sober fact that along with the increased number of flights per year, which means higher demand for sources and substantial carbon footprint, there is an inappropriate tendency towards the decrease in the effectiveness of planning which might have serious consequences for the whole industry.

Air pollution has always been an ongoing issue for debates since the emergence of the climate change problem. However, the last decades it has been associated with the fast rise of the aviation sector and the absence of alternatives to flights (Grant 2017). The basis for the emergence of these concerns is that any aircraft emits numerous gases that are considered dangerous, and the future development of the sphere will mean that gradual increase in their amount. These include oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), water vapour, aerosols and CO2 which is considered one of the most problematic substances impacting the climate and preconditioning undesired change (CAP 2017). The increased carbon footprint might mean that the rise of the climate change problem’s topicality and its correlation with the further evolution of the aviation industry and its expansion. For this reason, there is a critical need for the in-depth investigation of this problem and the introduction of appropriate regulations to prevent further deterioration of the situation.

As for noise pollution, it is also one of the problems that are now associated with the growing activity of airlines. According to ICAO (2016), aircraft noise remains one of the most important causes of negative community reaction related to the operation and expansion of airports. In the majority of regions characterised by the presence and functioning of airports, there is a significant number of individuals affected by this factor and the quality of their life decreases (Abeyratne 2016). Accumulation of tiredness because of constant loud sounds is one of the main complaints of people living in such areas because of their inability to function appropriately and have refreshing rest. Additionally, representatives of fauna can also be hurt by loud sounds, which poses a significant threat to the environment. In this regard, agencies such as European Environment, ICAO and IATA, outline the necessity to reduce the number of people affected by noise and minimise its levels as one of the main environmental goals of the modern aviation.

Finally, speaking about other types of harmful substances that emerge due to the activity of aviation and negative impact on the environment, ICAO (2016) outlines that water and earth can also suffer from the further development of aviation. The constantly increasing number of flights means higher amounts of water needed for technological and other needs, which will result in its contamination (IATA n.d.). Additionally, the quality of the earth can also become deteriorated because of the negative impact of substances used while maintaining and operating aircraft at different locations. Washing, lubrication, and other activities of this sort presuppose the use of liquids that will be absorbed by the earth and engage in reaction with elements contained in it, which will precondition deterioration of its state and negative consequences. For this reason, there is a critical need to minimise this harm as one of the ways to create a new sustainable industry with the reduced damage done to the environment.

Scope of Air Pollution

Going into details of the air pollution problem associated with the functioning of the aviation sphere, one should realise the fact that approximately 1.3% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions come from this very industry (ICAO 2016). In is an extremely high percentage considering the fact that there are multiple predictions about the further rise of this sector and increased demand for fuel presupposing its combustion and creating new CO2 (Eurocontrol n.d.). Today, the amount of emissions is about 34 million of tonnes per annum, which is low if compare with other industries (see Figure 2 in the Appendix), This data shows that this mean of transport remains one of the environmentally friendly ones (CAP 2017). However, regarding the fact that this number will grow every year, the world will face a significant problem in the nearest future. In accordance with the existing forecasts, the amount of emissions will grow up to 43.5 million tonnes by 2030, and to 47.0 by 2050 (CAP 2017). These threatening statistics indicate the need for an immediate intervention to prevent further deterioration of the situation and find an appropriate solution.

There is already a number of recommendations and regulations that are expected to improve the situation. At the moment, agencies responsible for the functioning and evolution of the sphere possess a substantial scientific understanding of the components of aviation impacts on the environment and how particular processes within a domain promote climate change and surface warming along with the deterioration of the social welfare (see Figure 3 in Appendix) (ICAO 2016). The work of engines and fuel combustion produce gases that engage in photochemical reactions deteriorating the climate, contributing to the appearance of radiative forcing components, and undermining the functioning of the society (ICAO 2016). Additionally, not only aircraft but all facilities associated with the sphere can create emissions. Airport buildings, ground vehicles used to maintain the functioning of the infrastructure, and other means of transport used to support the work of the sector also produce CO2 and other gases that have the negative impact on atmosphere and environment (López Lázaro et al. 2018).

There is also an idea that emissions caused by the aviation industry should also include all CO2 generated by vehicles that are used by passengers to reach airports. Regarding the fact that the passenger flow grows every year, the corresponding rise in the number of rides can also be admitted (Abeyratne 2014). Accepting the tendency towards the further expansion of the aviation sphere, this problem can become even more significant because of the need for additional means of transport to take passengers to airports and ensure the high level of comfort for them. This aspect might also contribute to the deterioration of the functioning of the aviation industry regarding the environmental factor.

For this reason, the majority of offered interventions touching upon this very issue recognise the necessity to reduce the number of harmful substances created by the sphere and control emissions. There is a set of measures that are considered effective and have promising character regarding the further evolution of the aviation industry and constantly increasing the number of flights performed every year by passengers with various purposes. Fuel combustion is one of the factors that is considered central while speaking about air pollution and climate change (Abeyratne 2014). For this reason, the use of alternative fuels holds leadership among possible solutions to the problem and attainment of significant improvement (Suder & Heidmann 2017). At the same time, better land operations and more effective management of facilities can help to minimise the harm done due to the evolution of the sector (Bows-Larkin et al. 2016). In such a way, correctly realising the existing problems and their fundamental character for the further growth of society, the majority of regulatory agencies and authorities emphasise the necessity of immediate actions aimed at the achievement of higher sustainability levels and creation of new civil aviation that will be able to meet new requirements to its functioning (Bridger 2013). This task reflects the scope of the discussed issue and the need for immediate improvement.

Noise pollution

The relevant literature devoted to the discussed problem also outlines the fact that the existing regulations regarding noise pollution can demonstrate the decreased effectiveness regarding the current state of the issue. This aspect has been controlled since the 1970s by introducing a set of limits for aircraft collected in Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) which was also discussed during the Chicago Convention (Smith 2004). The central aim of these regulations is to create specific conditions for certification guaranteeing that the aircraft design and the majority of performed operations can meet the existing requirements (Crane 2017). However, the main problem is that even the newest standards can be too stressing for both people, animals and have an overall negative impact on the environment. Aldeman et al. (2016) assume that there is a factor of so-called community annoyance that is a degree to which a group of people is affected by the work of the sphere and aircraft.

Accumulation of high noise levels which can be observed in areas situated close to airports can have a negative impact on the quality of life and health. In accordance with the investigations, there is a direct correlation between the community annoyance and health of residents (Ponte 2014). For this reason, the modern aviation sector faces a serious problem of noise pollution and the need for its significant reduction as a part of the program aimed at the creation of a sustainable future (Raven et al. 2015). Additionally, in accordance with the latest investigations, the non-acoustic variables and sounds created by working aircraft can precondition sleep disorders or the emergence of psychological issues in specialists which will significantly reduce the effectiveness of their work and set the basis for new risks and threats (Köhler 2014). This factor is recognised as a serious aspect indicating a need for intervention and improvement. Cusick, Cortes and Rodrigues (2017) state that transformation of the sphere without the introduction of tools to struggle against this problem is impossible as they are all environmental concerns mentioned regarding the increased number of flights are interconnected and should be taken as a single complex.

Recent investigations also prove the outlined ideas and emphasise the negative impact of noises on the quality of people’s lives and the environment. The fact is that the prolonged effect of sounds of a particular frequency might affect the work of various organs, tissues, and the state of liquids in the body of any creature (Hill 2017). Regarding human beings, it might stipulate irreversible changes in their well-being decreasing the lifespan and introducing multiple health issues (Ponte 2014). Additionally, the tiredness impacts performance levels, which also means the deterioration of workers’ effectiveness and poor outcomes of the whole aviation sphere. That is why it becomes critical to prevent the accumulation of these negative impacts on individuals.

One of the incentives to improve the noise situation supported by the European Union is the Clean Sky project. Among other technological solutions offered in terms of this programme, the use of specific wing tips to minimise noise during take-offs and landings is conditioned one of the appropriate methods (Hill 2017). Additionally, there are many other strategies presupposing financial regulation and monitoring of airports functioning, which means that there is a correct understanding of the scope of the problem and the necessity of its resolution by using the newest technologies and approaches to reduce the level of noise pollution globally.

In order to avoid the critical worsening of the situation in the future, agencies such as ICAO and IATA recommend to focus efforts on the development and implementation of technology to reduce noise and decrease the environmental impact of flights on people and animals. As far as the current technological progress affects all spheres of human functioning, the creation of this technology can become possible along with the designing of a new more effective aircraft that will help to solve the problem of excessive fuel combustion and air travel (Hill 2017). In such a way, the discussed environmental issues become closely connected because of their impact on the atmosphere and the surrounding people. This information also evidences the fact that both ICAO, IATA and other regulatory agencies are interested in the elaboration of several most effective solutions that will help to achieve significant cusses instead of offering numerous narrowed approaches dealing with only one of the outlined problems. For this reason, the most promising and scaled projects are taking into consideration while cogitating about the possible ways to improve the situation.

Ineffective air travel

Among possible factors that precondition a significant CO2 emission and causation of serious harm to the environment, specialists mention the ineffective air travel. For instance, changing aircraft while trying to achieve distant locations can have a negative impact on the environment (Abeyratne 2014). The fact is that both takeoff and landing demand high amounts of fuel that becomes combusted less effectively if to compare with the flight itself. Additionally, every departure and arrival should be supported by the work of personnel, usage of specific vehicles to deliver passengers and provision of all appropriate services. In such a way, this approach to travelling becomes dangerous to the environment because of multiple resources that should be devoted to it.

The problem of ineffective air travel can also be related to the negative impact of the so-called human factor and lack of workers’ competence. In accordance with recent investigations, the absence of appropriate knowledge results in at least a 13% increase of the demand for sources needed to support and organise a flight (Lute & Bartle 2017). It means that mistakes made by the stuff during the maintenance procedures, or adherence to outdated strategies or approaches, decrease the overall effectiveness of the sphere and introduce increased requirements for materials, fuels, energy, and financing. Regarding the focus on the achievement of higher sustainability levels, this situation becomes unacceptable in the modern aviation industry.

Additionally, mistakes emerging due to the human factor should also be considered one of the elements of ineffective air travel. First, a significant number of air accidents happen because of the negative impact of this aspect. However, analysing the situation from the environmental perspective, the inability to follow the existing guidelines or disregard of some basic rules can also precondition a significant deterioration of the state and the need for extra sources. That is why trying to solve the problem of decrease effectiveness of air travel it is critical to consider all factors that might impact this domain.

Another problem associated with ineffective air travel is the existence of so-called business and high-class seats characterised by the increased level of comfort and privileges offered to patients. At the same time, using the economy class, airlines can save fuel and other resources needed to organise a single flight (Lutte & Bartle 2017). In numbers, this difference is proven by the fact that carbon footprints of business and first class are three and nine-times higher than of economy class appropriately (Lutte & Bartle 2017). For this reason, adherence to this model can be considered ineffective from various perspectives and should be replaced to reconsider the functioning of the aviation sphere.

The authors also outline the existence of the problem with schedules and planning of flights as there are many seats that are not occupied by passengers. In such a way, using similar amounts of fuel, aircraft loses its effectiveness and deals increased damage to the environment. In this regard, the scope of the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel also preconditions the optimisation of airport and aircraft management which is a central way of achieving the goal and high sustainability levels. Kearns (2018) states that utilising the approach that considers all these elements, the amount of CO2 emissions can be reduced significantly along with the combusted fuel and other resources spent to guarantee security and comfort to passengers. Under these conditions, the ineffective use of available resources becomes another critical source of pollution.

The majority of specialists analysing the given problem are sure that the current scope of the issue demands the reconsideration of all elements of aviation sphere including the work of specialists belonging to it as the high number of mistakes caused by the human factor demands spending additional resources to correct them and preconditions substantial harm to the environment. In such a way, ICAO and IATA, as the most potent and powerful agencies that regulate the work and the further development of aviation state that the work of airports should also be included in the list of threats to the environment because of the existence of the direct correlation between this aspect and overall level of pollution (Abeyratne 2014). That is why a set of solutions discussed within the given paper will include the given component as the sphere that demands change and can be improved to attain better results.

Recommendations for Further Actions

As it comes from the majority of relevant sources devoted to the issue, further evolution of the aviation sector can pose a significant threat to the environment because of the constantly increasing traffic and emissions associated with it. For this reason, the existing regulatory bodies, agencies and authorities agree in the opinion that there is a fundamental need for the improvement and reconsideration of current methods used in this sphere because of their inability to suffice the growing number of requirements to sustainability (ICAO 2016; IATA n.d.). Monitoring of the level of pollution and the work of aviation, agencies such as ICAO and IATA come to the conclusion that in next several decades, a critical problem of CO2 emissions and other negative factors will acquire the top priority (Abeyratne 2014). In this regard, there is a set of offered recommendations and a plan of actions that can contribute to the improvement of the work of this industry and help to create a sustainable future.

The focus on technological advance is one of the first domains outlined by agencies as possible solutions to the problem of emission and environmental pollution. The current level of development and existing projects encourage optimism to specialists because of the possibility to achieve outlined goals and make a revolution in the field. For instance, ICAO (2016) emphasises the fact that modern aircraft manufacturers are focused on the creation of vehicles that consume less fuel and emit lower amounts of CO2 and NOx. A new generation of engines can be one of the solutions for the problem, for this reason, the existing guidelines regulating the sphere promote the further technological advance with the primary aim to create a new aviation industry with more effective and less dangerous aircraft.

New innovative projects can also be considered a possible solution to the problem of the negative impact of air travel on the aviation industry. At the moment, there is a global effort to reconsider the vector of the sphere’s development, shifting from the focus on generation of high revenue and high speed of growth to the improvement of existing facilities and creation of more sustainable airlines that will be able to work more effectively regarding the need for reduced emissions and new methods. Promotion of programmes and strategic incentives of this sort can be considered one of the possible solutions to the topical problem as they cultivate better cooperation at the international level and utilise the latest technologies to achieve success.

At the same time, in accordance with ICAO’s (2016) report, there is an obligation to continue the further development of methods to carry out environmental assessments and contribute to the creation of new solutions to the problem. This step is critical because of the constant emergence of new threats and issues that deteriorate the functioning of the sphere and might precondition the growing dissatisfaction with the ways in which it evolves. IATA (n.d.) also supports this incentive stating that only combined efforts of all agencies can contribute to the achievement of success and transformation of aviation into one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly means of transport that will meet all requirements and provide individuals with opportunities for travel. The combined effort of regulatory bodies supported by the government is taken as one of the possibilities for the elimination of all barriers for growth.

The critical importance of environmental assessments can be proven by the fact that they provide fundamental data that can be used to trace alterations in the ways aviation evolve and offer new methods of how to deal with undesired side effects of its fast evolution. For this reason, ICAO (2013) consider the further creation of new laboratories and research establishments as one of the possible solutions to the complex environmental situation that can be observed today with the primary goal to correctly determine the most problematic domains and discuss them.

Finally, as it comes from the focus on innovative technologies, there is a recommendation to finance projects that are focused on the development of alternative fuels. The recent research shows that the combination of a new generation of combustible substances and electric engines can be applicable to civil aviation and promote a significant reduction of CO2 emissions (ICAO 2013). For this reason, it becomes critical to create conditions for the development and implementation of this sort of technologies in the aviation sphere. The given set of recommendations to a greater degree reflects the scope of the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel as the majority of proposed solutions come from these guidelines.

Possible Solutions

As it has already been stated, possible solutions to the outlined problems come from the most problematic areas associated with the functioning and evolution of the aviation sphere. The majority of CO2 emissions come from the nature of fuel used in aircraft. At the same time, the current design of engines and planes provides a limited number of opportunities for the reduction of pollution levels. For this reason, the discussed solutions include the use of alternative fuels, improvement of aircraft and more effective air travel with the reduced number of indirect or unnecessary flights. These approaches are considered effective enough by agencies such as ICAO and IATA, and the majority of researchers who are focused on the improvement of the situation and transformation of the sphere. For this reason, the possible methods proposed above are discussed in the paper as the central opportunities for the reduction of the number of environmental concerns.

Alternative Fuels

For decades, aircraft have been using traditional aviation fuel that was able to satisfy the existing demand. It can be described as a specialised type of petroleum-based substance that has characteristics differentiating it from other fuels that are traditionally used in other spheres (Ponte 2014). There are additives to minimise the risk of explosion and provide the demanded power to an engine. The majority of airlines that function today use jet fuel as it guarantees the maximum levels of effectiveness and reduces costs that are needed to support a plane (Ponte 2014). Additionally, there are some other kinds of fuels such as petroleum spirit which can guarantee the income of energy. However, one of the critical problems associated with the utilisation of this source is its contribution to the significant climate change (Marohasy 2017). CO2 and other gases’ emissions have a negative impact on the state of the environment and result in the deterioration of the quality of air.

The further growth of aviation will mean that the demand for fuel will increase. For instance, by 2050 the fuel burn can rise significantly and remain to grow if no measures are implemented (see Figure 4 in Appendix). It will pose even more significant threat to the environment, which means that there is the need for the use of sustainable alternative fuels as the element of reducing aviation’s impact on climate and air quality (ICAO 2016). The discussion of this problem acquires the top priority, and there is a Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels that was firstly organised in 2009 with the primary aim to increase the overall effectiveness of using fuels by 2% (ICAO 2016). The given purpose can be achieved by using so-called green technologies and substances.

One of the possible alternatives to the improvement of the situation are biofuels that can be offered to solve a problem. As against the conventional fossil-based aviation fuels, these new ones are created by the biomass to liquid method. It is a multi-stage process that presupposes the creation of synthetic hydrocarbon fuels from biomass that is produced in high quantities as a result of human activity (Azami & Savill 2017). Using a thermochemical approach and specific technology, sustainable aviation fuel can be created (Sohret 2018). Its primary advantage over the standard one used by the majority of aircraft is that it meets the modern requirements to the amounts of emitted CO2 and other gases (Köhler, Walz & Marscheider-Weidemann 2014). Investigation shows that planes using this fuel need few or even no modifications or upgrades to fly safely; at the same time, the carbon footprint becomes less significant which is one of the fundamental advantages of this substance (Köhler, Walz & Marscheider-Weidemann 2014). Companies can also use blends of conventional and biofuels to increase performance and decrease emissions that emerge during the flight.

There is also a promising technology presupposing the biochemical conversion of biomass to produce substances that can be used to initiate combustion and provide engines with needed energy. For instance, sugars or even palm oil are considered as important elements of bio fuels production as they can be utilised to solve the existing problems regarding the increasing demand for flights. At the moment, palm oil has a bad reputation because of its negative impact on people’s health; however, reconsideration of the ways how it can be processed will help to solve several problems and reduce the carbon footprint associated with the work of aviation sphere.

Another possible alternative to fossil-based aviation fuels is the use of compressed and liquefied natural gas. The central reason for the rise of this substance’s popularity is that it can be used instead of gasoline, diesel and propane with a significantly lower impact on the environment (Azami & Savill 2017). It is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of the volume it occupies using high pressures (Azami & Savill 2017). In such a way, it can be used in planes with insignificant modification as an alternative to other sources of energy.

Unfortunately, one of the central problems of sustainable fuels is that they are not still widely used by airlines globally because of a set of various factors. First of all, there is a lack of political regulation of the aviation sphere that prevents new types of fuels from becoming the main source of power for planes (Connelly & Lambert 2016). Moreover, the complete refusal from traditional sources of energy will mean the direct confrontation with current petroleum, oil, and bio-diesel industry that remain potent actors at the global level. Possessing more developed supply-chains and specific facilities, they are not interested in the wide use of new generation fuels because of the increasing threat to their dominance and hegemony (Connelly & Lambert 2016). For this reason, the further promotion of this solution becomes possible only considering the interests of these industry sectors and effective negotiations with them as one the possible tools to make an agreement and utilise available resources to finance new projects and programs stimulating the further implementation of bio fuels into the work of civil aviation.

Additionally, regardless of the focus on the development and implementation of this sort of substances, there is still an economic barrier that should be considered. Multiple obvious advantages of biofuels and their reduced carbon footprint are opposed by the high price for their development and production if to compare with the traditional ones (Connelly & Lambert 2016)). The absence of facilities and a limited number of actors who are ready to use it create economic and technologic barriers to the further implementation of this solution in practice (Azami & Savill 2017). Nevertheless, the majority of policy-makers related to the aviation sphere are sure that this approach should become one of the central solutions to the growing number of CO2 emissions because of the aviation industry’s growth. That is why further development of biofuels can be predicted.

Aircraft and Operation Effectiveness

Another possible set of solutions to improve the work of the aviation sphere if the gradual improvement of aircraft and the majority of operations associated with the maintenance and support. The promising character of this solution is evidenced by the fact that increasing effectiveness of planes the majority of existing environmental concerns can be affected including CO2 emissions, noise, flights duration and distance, land operations (Smith et al. 2018). For this reason, the recommended actions include significant attention to this aspect with the primary aim to attain success and make the aviation sphere more sustainable.

One of the existing problems is that about 40% of all planes available for airlines globally are obsolete (ICAO n.d.). It means that they consume more fuel and emit high amounts of CO2 which poses a serious threat to the environment and air. This problem attracts the attention of agencies such as ICAO or IATA that emphasise the necessity of deep modification and introduction of new planes to increase the overall effectiveness of the sphere. In accordance with recent reports and investigations, late models of jet aircraft demonstrate significantly better characteristics related to the consumption of fuel and seat-mile characteristics (ICAO n.d.). While the old planes were designed with the primary aim to increase revenue disregarding environmental concerns, the new ones should be ready to consider all factors that are taken as dangerous and try to mitigate their negative impact on the environment.

For this reason, modern aircraft manufacturers are trying to find the most effective approaches to minimise the harm done to the environment and create the basis for the further development of aviation. Thus, turboprop engines are also taken as a possible way to save fuels and reduce CO2 emissions (Dudziak et al. 2017). The high potential of this solution is evidenced by the fact that Alaska Airlines managed to achieve extremely high scores of fuel efficiency due to the utilisation of this approach (Hernando & Martinez-Val 2016). In such a way, it becomes critical to devote significant attention to this question as one of the possible ways to find a solution to the majority of problems. The current research in the sphere shows that the adherence to the advanced practices and use of innovative technologies can help to significantly reduce fuel consumption which is one of the main aims of the industry (see Figure 5 in Appendix). In such a way, working with technologies and trying to implement them in practice, manufacturers will be able to propose one of the possible solutions to the discussed problem.

Furthermore, old airplanes become a serious problem to the sphere because of the need for their recycling and storing. Additionally, manufacturing of any aircraft is a complex and resource demanding process that has multiple stages. Introduction of carbon-fibre-reinforced-polymer can help to reduce the overall industry’s CO2 emissions by 14-15% which is critical for the future of the sphere (Uddin 2016). Moreover, the utilisation of the given technology is expected to transform the industry into one of the most sustainable ones due to the minimisation of the harmful impact.

There are also multiple attempts to reconsider the existing approach to design. For instance, the use of new wing tips can help to reduce the level of noise pollution and increase the lifting power, which, in its turn, will precondition the decreased amount of fuel needed to ensure a take-off (Uddin 2017). Moreover, there are new models of aircraft with innovative airfoil geometry that are expected to become a new potent solution to the problem of excessive fuel consumption and comparatively low distances covered by planes without additional topping-up (Dudziak et al. 2017). The use of these innovative solutions for manufacturing aircraft can help to achieve the existing goal of creation of new sustainable airlines and reduction of carbon footprint.

As for the operations’ effectiveness, it is another sphere that should be improved to solve many environmental issues. The existing research projects state that one of the possible ways to improve the work of commercial airlines is to create new methods of performing ground operations to avoid delays, problematic issues, emergencies and overuse of resources (Pidcock & Yeo 2016). For instance, adding an electric device to the airplane’s nose wheel can contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption during ground handling as there will be no need for starting engines (Geiß & Voit-Nitschmann 2017). Additionally, there is a proposition to integrate an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System to all airports with the primary aims to avoid mistakes and loss of fuel during takeoff or landing.

Another set of opportunities emerge from the improvement of maintenance practices and the work of the personnel. In accordance with the recent investigations, the ineffective management, poor understanding of the basic peculiarities of aviation and how it works can result in an increased number of failures and malpractices (Hobbs & Lyall 2016). These can lead to high demand for resources and new environmental issues. For this reason, one of the possible ways to attain better sustainability and reduce the number of problems in the discussed sphere is the additional training for all staff with the primary goal to educate them about the existing environmental concerns in the aviation sphere and how they should be improved by their commitment and better effectiveness (Hobbs & Lyall 2016). This approach is expected to have a positive impact on further development of the whole industry and its becoming one of the most effective in the transportation sector.

Along with other possible solutions, the implementation and use of innovative and more effective monitoring systems can be considered another potent option for the achievement of outlined goals. Accepting the fact that mistakes done by specialists remain a significant source of ineffective resources management, the need for advanced software and tools becomes apparent. That is why there is also a focus on the creation of new strategies to reconsider the work of airports to use new technologies and ensure that workers will benefit from their availability.

Finally, there is credible evidence that aviation becomes one of the significant sources of CO2 emissions because of the work of engines and a growing number of aircraft. In accordance with the basic assumptions of the Pairs Agreement, there is a fundamental need to reduce greenhouse emissions (Kaparos, Papadopoulos & Yakinthos 2018). For this reason, the use of electric aircraft becomes another potent option that can help to achieve these goals. At the moment, there are about 80 programmes that pursue the goal of creating more sustainable aviation via the reconsideration of the basic principles of its work (ICAO n.d.). For instance, short-haul routes can be covered by hybrid planes using both electric and conventional engines as it will help to reduce the needed amount of fuel and carbon footprint; the introduction of this sort of aircraft will help to improve the overall effectiveness by 30% in minimum and solve some of the existing concerns (Hobbs & Lyall 2016). For this reason, the use of this sort of engines along with sodium-ion batteries can help to achieve sustainability in future.

Air Travel Improvements

As it has already been stated, reduction of air travel and the use of more effective routes can be considered another possible solution to the problem of aviation pollution. First of all, there is a suggestion to limit the number of travels because of their resource-demanding character (Kearns 2018). Accepting the fact that aviation has strategic importance for the modern globalised world, the adherers of this idea emphasise the necessity to rationalise current use of this mean of transport by avoiding journeys or flights that are not critical at the moment (Seresinhe & Lawson 2015). It can be achieved by effective educational work among people who are concerned about climate change. Additionally, there is a project presupposing the governmental regulation of the number of available flights for people to use them wisely only in cases of emergency. It can help to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve higher sustainability levels.

Reduction of air travel can also be achieved via the use of direct flights instead of multiple short-distance routes. Research shows that high amounts of fuel are combusted during takeoff and landing stage as the engines of aircraft demand additional power (Sun et al. 2016). For this reason, every departure and arrival contribute to the deterioration of climate and emit CO2 with other harmful substances (Sun et al. 2016). Additionally, there are many ground operations that are performed to maintain an aircraft, prepare it for a new flight, provide passengers with all needed services and guarantee the high level of their safety. Under these conditions, short-haul flights become one of the most problematic concerns of the aviation industry that should be given specific attention because of their significant carbon footprint and negative influence on the climate.

The scope of air travel improvements can also include optimisation of timetables and flight frequencies. The research states that there is a significant number of empty seats flown which result in the decreased effectiveness of the sphere (Wang, Xu & Zhao 2017). There is a set of reasons impacting the number of passengers that want to fly. The improved understanding of these causes will help to create more effective timetables and avoid situations when some planes are overloaded and some fly almost empty, which is fundamental for the modern aviation sphere. For this reason, the consideration of load factors and particular hours that can ensure the optimal number of passengers becomes critical for the future of aviation as one of the potent approaches to minimise its negative influence of climate change. Moreover, there is a suggestion to limit the cruise altitude of aircraft as one of the possible ways to reduce high-altitude contrails resulting in CO2 emissions (Xiu, Liu & Xu 2018). There are certain barriers regarding the airspace capacity; however, they can be overcome by introducing new types of planes and engines (Logan & Sankareswaran 2015). It means that the given set of regulations can help to transform the work of aviation sphere and become effective solutions to achieve appropriate results.

Specialists analysing the work of the aviation sphere also outline the critical importance of the involvement of the main companies in the process to ensure that all offered strategies will be accepted at different levels. The fact is that the implementation of the majority of provided innovative and sustainable methods can be slow down by airlines because of their unwillingness to lose additional sources of income. That is why negotiations become a fundamental part of the improvement needed to achieve the higher levels of air travel effectiveness and ensure that all flights will be performed observing the existing guidelines or recommendations. Additionally, there is a suggestion to introduce fines and penalties for companies that do not engage in activities aimed at the preservation of the high quality of services and reduction of the negative impact on atmosphere (Seresinhe & Lawson 2015). It is expected that these methods will help to attain success by improving the most important operations.

Finally, reconsideration of air travel can be supported with the end of fly-frequent incentives. Today, airlines are interested in the generation of additional revenues by attracting new passengers via promotion campaigns and special offerings. For instance, about 130 modern companies support frequent flyer programs that rest on miles or kilometres taken by an individual (Seresinhe & Lawson 2015). Regarding the given number, additional discounts or special opportunities can be suggested. Considering the global statistics, around 163 million people are included in these programs which aim at the development of specific habits among individuals to travel using aircraft (Seresinhe & Lawson 2015). This strategic tool utilised to generate a competitive advantage contributes to the increased number of unnecessary flights performed because of available bonuses and special propositions. That is why one of the possible solutions to reduce the negative impact of air travel on the environment is the elimination of these programs or the introduction of governmental regulations regarding the fly-frequent campaigns. Palmer (2016) states that complete refusal from this practice can help to achieve a significant improvement of the industry’s functioning and redistribute sources to more important needs. In such a way, a new approach to the analysed problem becomes another element of the strategy aimed at the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel.

Conclusion

Altogether, the given literature review clearly proves that the modern aviation sphere experiences a set of problems that can limit opportunities for its further rise. The strategic importance of the sphere preconditions the high speed of its development and growth. Today it can provide services to millions of passengers and satisfy their demands for fast and safe travel. However, there is also a reverse side of the coin as the fast speed of the sphere’s growth preconditions the increase of CO2 emissions and a significant impact on the atmosphere. Regarding the problems with climate change and the gradual deterioration of the environment, this issue can become a potentially dangerous barrier for the further expansion of this industry and its becoming a sustainable sphere. For this reason, the majority of relevant sources accept the necessity of the in-depth evaluation of the given problem with the primary aim to offer possible solutions and minimise the harm done by the work of aircraft and land operations.

Moreover, from the given literature review, it becomes apparent that the further deterioration can be avoided or at least minimised if to introduce a set of measures that can help to improve the situation and achieve the outlined goals. Organisations such as ICAO and IATA also show their concerns by offering guidelines that can help to reconsider the functioning of the aviation sphere and introduce multiple improvements with the pivotal aim to achieve higher sustainability levels and support the further development of effective and environmentally friendly aviation. Furthermore, from the literature review, one can see that the solution to this problem might demand the government’s involvement as it can introduce regulations limiting the undesired tendencies in this industry and supporting promising projects.

Among the possible solutions to the outlined problem, the majority of sources offer the utilisation of methods associated with the technological advance and innovative approaches. Thus, ICAO is sure that the further adherence to high-technological processes and the introduction of new solutions can help to help to achieve at least 2% of fuel efficiency improvement and reduce CO2 emissions (see Figure 6 in the Appendix). Other methods outlined in the given review presuppose the use of biofuels, upgrade of aircraft and land operations and reconsideration of the approach to air travel. Summarising the main ideas provided in the given literature review, one should say that the scope of the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel includes the three basic areas which are a new type of fuels, new type of aircraft and new approach to operations. At the same time, all these three domains demand innovative technologies and significant shifts in people’s mentalities to recognise the necessity and importance of the proposed alterations as one of the possible ways to avoid critical climate change and enjoy effective and fast air travel.

That is why the further promotion of new projects such as Clean Sky becomes critical for the modern aviation sphere. As it comes from the literature review, today, it is fundamental to contribute to the creation of a new theoretical framework that can be used for the discussion and implementation of innovative and environmentally friendly practices promoting the shift towards sustainable methods and tools. As far as there is a tendency towards the growing complexity and sophistication of the sphere, the need for a new paradigm becomes obvious as it is the only possible approach to solve the emerging problems together and contribute to the elaboration of effective methods.

Additionally, the given section proves the idea that regardless of the existence of multiple technological solutions to the outlined problem, there is also some place for the improvement of organizational factors as one of the possible interventions as the ineffective timetables, schedules, and empty planes significantly decrease outcomes and pose questions about the ability of airlines to contribute to the achievement of higher sustainability levels. For this reason, training becomes another possible solution to the environmental problem as it might eliminate gaps in knowledge associated with the climate change and provide workers with multiple opportunities to improve their performance and engage in activities that will help to solve the majority of existing problems.

The selected sources were used to find answers to the research questions formulated in the previous section. Moreover, evaluation of the information promotes the selection of research methodology that will help to uncover all critical aspects and increase the credibility of findings. This part of the paper also sets the ground for discussion of the ways in which the functioning of aviation can be improved to achieve higher sustainability levels. Data from this part will also be used to generate the concluding section to reveal all findings and summarise the most important points.

Methodology

Introduction

The given section is devoted to the description of the methods that are selected for the given project because of their ability to analyse critical information about the discussed issue and collect facts needed for the discussion and conclusion. The unique importance of the given section is evidenced by the fact that the wrong choice of research paradigm can deteriorate results of the investigation and provide corrupted data which is unacceptable for projects of this type. Additionally, justification of research methods should rest on the improved understanding of the analysed problem, its roots and the best possible ways of its analysis. For this reason, correctly realising the importance of this element of the study, we justify the chosen methods and describe every step of their application to collect information and make a conclusion.

Explanation of the Approach

The outlined problem, its scope and topicality, precondition the choice of certain research methods and approaches to guarantee the effective data collection, its analysis and discussion. The significance of the research paradigm is evidenced by the fact that it stipulates the results of the investigation and helps to achieve the outlined goals (Thompson 2012). For this reason, this part is essential for any project that aims at the detailed overview of a certain problem. In the paper, we utilise the inductive approach supported by the qualitative paradigm that is used to collect data.

First of all, the choice of the inductive paradigm is justified by the fact that it helps to generate a certain theory that comes from data collected in the course of the investigation. Adhering to this very model, we will be able to formulate a hypothesis and support it with facts acquired during observation. In general, it is one of the main tools of the selected methodology that helps to collect needed information and make premises on its basis. Moreover, the inductive approach helps to conduct the in-depth investigation of the chosen issue via the collection of data from various sources and their analysis.

The project also adheres the qualitative research methodology as an appropriate paradigm to evaluate the impact of the aviation sphere on the environment and conclude about the effectiveness of offered approaches regarding the reduction of emissions and other problems. The given approach helps to improve understanding of particular issues via the collection of information related to them and the exploration of multiple research paradigms.

A literature review is selected as a potent tool to gather information from various sources related to the issue and create the theoretical framework needed for the discussion. Only relevant and credible works should be included in the investigation to achieve higher reliability and feasibility levels (Resnik 2018). At the same time, secondary data collection techniques presuppose analysis of such sources as Internet databases, libraries and other sites that can offer information essential for the research. One of the main advantages of this approach is the availability and accessibility of that data were also used for previous research projects to study particular issues.

Finally, the phenomenological research as one of the qualitative methods is applied to the selected issue to conduct an in-depth analysis of the way the aviation and increased number of flights impact the environment. The research of reports, case studies and other credible sources of information helps to describe a selected phenomenon and outline the approaches that can be utilised to work with it and attain improved outcomes (Adams & Lawrence 2018; Lahman 2017). In such a way, the project will benefit from the utilisation of the outlined paradigm as it will contribute to the collection of relevant data related to the issue and its successful analysis. It also guarantees that all available pieces of evidence needed to prove the negative impact of the aviation sphere on the environment and outline the most potent solutions will be collected and integrated into the report.

Data Collection

The utilisation of the inductive paradigm presupposes multiple observations and investigation of theories related to the discussed issue that exist at the moment with the primary aim to formulate a particular perspective at the end of research. For this reason, it should be supported with data collection methods that can ensure the availability of credible information (Creswell & Creswell 2018). To achieve this goal, it is fundamental to collect existing perspectives on the problem of aviation and environment via the utilisation of such sources as dissertations, observations, case studies, reports, agencies’ recommendations and programmes as they will contribute to the formulation of a theoretical basis for the whole paper (Trochim, Donnely & Arora 2015). That is why the most effective way to structure all available information and organise it in an effective manner understandable for readers is literature review that is expected to outline all existing approaches to the improvement of the environmental impact of air travel along with the plans for future actions (Creswell & Creswell 2018). In the given work, we try to use multiple sources including primary and secondary ones to ensure the full coverage of the selected issue and elimination of the knowledge gap.

Primary sources are the main element promoting the enhanced understanding of the roots of the growing number of environmental concerns and how they are considered by specialists who work in the area. As for secondary ones, they add new perspectives and discussions of theories and models that are proposed by the previous category. For this reason, this combination can be considered one of the most effective approaches to ensure the effective data collection and set a basis for the further discussion and formulation of conclusions (Creswell & Creswell 2018). Additionally, the literature review section contains numerical and statistical information related to the issue along with the graphs and tables that can be found in the Appendix section. It helps to visualise the problem and fill in the gaps in knowledge related to CO2 emissions, noise pollution and climate change associated with the further rise of the aviation industry.

All provided facts can be characterised by high credibility and relevance as we collected them from companies’ reports, agencies’ guidelines, reliable websites, books, scholarly articles, conventions and governmental reports. In such a way, the proposed data collection procedure helps to answer the current research questions and accomplish all objectives associated with the project. That is why the selected data collection method that is focused on literature review becomes justified by the nature of the project and the necessity to discuss the most topical and effective approaches to the improvement of air travel regarding its impact on the environment.

Altogether, the given data collection method is preconditioned by the peculiarities of the proposed study and selected topic. Qualitative research methods contribute to the enhanced understanding of the fundamental aspects of the problem and how it can alter in the next several decades (Trochim, Donnely & Arora 2015). Finally, it guarantees the discussion of existing solutions to environmental problems, how they can be implemented in real-life conditions and expected positive change needed to achieve higher sustainability levels. That is why our choice becomes justified and can help to offer credible and relevant findings that can be later discussed.

Findings

Scope of the Environmental Impact of Air Travel

In such a way, resting on the data acquired in the course of the research, we come to a conclusion, that the modern aviation sphere can pose a significant threat to the environment because of the tendency towards the growing amount of CO2 emissions. Considering the fact that aircraft become the most effective and strategic mean of transport, in future, it will experience significant development which will make the current problems more topical because of the increase of the quantity and frequency of air travel. Another source of anxiety is that there are no alternatives to planes because of the high speed of globalisation and growing significance of international intercourse. In such a way, the majority of agencies such as ICAO and IATA and other regulatory bodies agree that there is an essential need for transformation and creation of a sustainable industry.

The majority of analysed sources outline the three basic approaches to the improvement that can be used regarding the existing problem and the available technologies. These include the replacement of traditional aviation fuel with a new generation of biofuels, the creation of more environmentally friendly and effective aircraft along with the improvement of basic operations and finally, a new perspective on the organisation of air travel via their reduction. According to the existing investigations and plans, adherence to these models and their implementation in real-life conditions can help to increase the overall effectiveness of the industry up to 20% and significantly reduce fuel consumption which is one of the basic targets of aviation for future. There are already first attempts to transform the industry by promoting the further development of new fuels and aircraft; however, their positive impact becomes reduced due to the economic, technologic, or bureaucratic barriers.

The fact is that at the moment, there are still many problematic aspects that might be considered barriers for the further development of promising solutions and their use in real-life conditions. First of all, for a long period of time, aviation had been taken as one of the most effective and strategically important means of transport that can help airlines to generate stable and high revenues because of its significance. Today, this approach should be reconsidered because of the need for new practices aimed at the protection of the environment and slowing down the speed of climate change. This might mean the introduction of unpopular solutions and methods that can become expensive for many companies traditionally playing critical roles in the work of the industry.

At the same time, the analysis of collected sources shows that it remains the only possible way of the future development of the given sphere and preservation of its importance. The fact is that the scope of problems outlined in the literature review section makes it impossible to continue the further expansion without the implementation of effective solutions and practices that can create new more sustainable aviation. Unfortunately, the existence of various barriers becomes an important factor that should be taken into account by the authorities and regulatory bodies that are responsible for the reconsideration of the aviation industry’s work.

Nevertheless, regardless of these problems, the proposed solutions remain the most effective ways to reconsider the work of the sphere and achieve success by introducing innovative approaches and decisions. In the next decade, it can be expected that the much attention will be devoted to the implementation of these incentives into real-life condition with the primary aim to achieve outlined goals and minimise the harm done to the environment. Acting in accordance with guidelines offered by ICAO and IATA airlines can attain new levels of sustainability and contribute to the further improvement of the sphere via its becoming less energy consuming and more effective.

Discussion

Thus, the collected data and factual material can be enough to answer all research questions formulated at the beginning of the paper. Speaking about the first one, we can state that all existing research devoted to the discussed problem evidence that the further extensive development of aviation can pose a significant threat to the environment because of the combination of multiple negative factors affecting the climate and preconditioning drastic changes in the structure of the atmosphere. These include CO2 emissions, noise pollution levels, high demand for fuels, ineffective operations, and outdated aircraft. The scope of these issues increases every year because of the growing need for aviation’s services. The combination of all these problems result in the emergence of a set of questions that pose a threat to the environment and the further evolution of society. Regarding the already existing concerns about climate change, aviation can become a new factor that should be taken into account to prevent further deterioration of the quality of life and the state of nature.

Answering the second research question, one of the main problems associating with the development of this sphere is the continuously growing amount of emitted CO2 which is responsible for the greenhouse effect and further deterioration of the environment. Accepting the fact that the industry of civil aviation will continue to grow, one can predict the further increase in the number of flights per year. In its turn, due to the work of engines and existing aviation fuels, this situation will result in the emission of a set of gases having a negative impact on the atmosphere. Additionally, ground operations might also presuppose multiple resources that can pollute surrounding areas. That is why all specialists working in the sphere precondition the tendency towards the further increase of carbon footprint related to the work of the aviation industry and its becoming one of the most important means of transport in the modern world.

Regarding the third research question, the most effective approaches and interventions to minimise the negative impact of air travel on the environment and prevent its further deterioration are the use of biofuels, improvement of aircraft and operations and air travel reduction via the more effective approach. Analysing the scope of the existing problems, these interventions will help to solve the majority of current issues and avoid the further deterioration of the environment. The utilisation of biofuels along with more effective engines and flights is expected to reduce emissions that are traditionally high. Additionally, it will help to create the basis for the achievement of higher sustainability levels and support the further development of aviation. Unfortunately, the review shows that there are some economic barriers related with the implementation of the proposed solutions because of the lack of needed facilities, limited finances, or direct competition with other industries that play an essential role in the modern global discourse. That is why it is demanded to initiate negotiations looking for the most appropriate and effective paradigm of the future aviation’s development and creation of new sustainable approaches to the organisation of flights.

Creation and use of specially designed literature review also help to answer the question related to the level of preparedness of workers belonging to the aviation sphere. The majority of specialists possess an improved understanding of the impact aviation has on the environment and recognise the necessity to minimise it to avoid critical harm done to the environment. However, there are still can be gaps in knowledge and mistakes preconditioned by the negative impact of the human factor that can result in the increased demand for resources and decreased effectiveness of the sphere. It means that additional training for the stuff should support the introduction of new solutions for employees to know how to work under new conditions and contribute to the creation of a sustainable future.

Finally, using data from credible sources we prove that the offered and discussed solutions can be effective enough to contribute to positive change and solve the majority of existing environmental issues peculiar to the sphere. The existing investigations show that the given approaches are potentially beneficial ones as they can transform that aviation industry by making it more environmentally friendly and effective. Replacement of outdated engines, harmful fuels and ineffective practices, airlines can become more sustainable and create the basis for the future improvement and rise, which is critical regarding the strategic importance of aviation and constantly growing demand for its services.

Altogether, the results of the literature review show that there are several environmental concerns in the aviation industry today. The further development of aviation is associated with the growing importance of these factors. For this reason, there is a need for a shift towards more effective and innovative practices that will help to solve the majority of existing problems. Only under these conditions improvement can be achieved.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Concluding, it is critical to say that today humanity states at the edge of drastic changes. People’s activity and attempts to create more comfortable living conditions resulted in serious damage done to the environment (Withgott & Laposata 2017). The modern aviation sphere can also be considered one of the factors stimulating negative change as the reviewed literature evidence the constantly growing number of various emissions including CO2. This threatening tendency should be evaluated by multiple organisations responsible for the further evolution of the sphere; otherwise, there will be new challenges to the further development and new problems limiting opportunities for the rise. Additionally, the fast speed of the sphere’s evolution shows that there is a necessity of immediate actions as the problem of climate change becomes more topical every year, while the industry continues its growth and emits new harmful substances.

The collected data evidences that there are attempts to improve the situation by implementing innovative technologies and fostering change. The use of biofuels and more effective aircraft should become the first step towards a more sustainable future and transformation of the sphere. Only under these conditions, the speed of climate change will be reduced. The paper contributes to the improvement of knowledge related to the issue and outlines possible solutions which is critical for outcomes. However, regarding a significant scope of the problem, it can be recommended to continue its investigation to find new dimensions of the analysed issues and possible solutions to them as the topic remains relevant for modern society and should be discussed at all levels to achieve success and attain positive results.

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Appendix

Increase in total flights
Figure 1. Increase in total flights (European Environment Agency 2016).
Emissions from industries.
Figure 2. Emissions from industries (CAP 2017).
Emissions and climate change
Figure 3. Emissions and climate change (ICAO 2016).
Fuel burn trends
Figure 4. Fuel burn trends (ICAO 2016).
Savings due to the technology improvement
Figure 5. Savings due to the technology improvement (ICAO n.d.).
Planned improvement.
Figure 6. Planned improvement (ICAO n.d.).
Scope of Improvement on the Environmental Impact of Air Travel
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