Where aircraft manufacturers stand on aircraft decarbonization;
Aircraft manufacturers are committed to sustainable air transportation and hope to achieve it by 2030, twenty years ahead of the Paris Treaty Net-Zero deadline of 2050.
The commitment is based on advances established decades before the global commitment to Net-Zero emissions.
A 2005 report from the Netherlands National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR-CR-2005-669) assesses how the fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft developed since their introduction in the 1930s. The report states that:
Existing estimates, such as the oft-cited 70% improvement from the IPCC Special Report on Aviation and the Global Atmosphere, ignore the record of the pre-jet era. Based on bottom-up (micro) and top-down (macro) analyses of aircraft fuel efficiency, it can be concluded that the last piston-powered aircraft were as fuel-efficient as current jets. This result was obtained by comparing several large piston-engined aircraft with both old and new jet airliners and was confirmed by the macro analysis, which reveals a sharp increase in fuel consumption per seat-kilometre as piston-engined aircraft were replaced by jet engines. T'he last piston-powered airliners were at least twice as fuel-efficient as the first jet-powered aircraft.
Fuel efficiency correlationship with engine pollution reductions.
The NLR goes on to explain that :
1. Aircraft fuel efficiency is just one of the design parameters of interest to aircraft designers and the market.
2. Future reductions in energy consumption per seat-kilometre, commonly expressed in terms of a constant annual percentage, is not very accurate.
3. Energy consumption per-seat kilometer ignores the fact that current aircraft configurations can never achieve zero fuel consumption.
4. The measure does not take into account that the annual reduction rate is not a constant, but is itself also falling, as demonstrated by both macro and micro analysis of the data provided in the report.
The NLR report concludes that many studies on predicted future efficiency gains are optimistic. The finding between 1967 and 2020, that the average fuel burn efficiency of the gas turbine engines powering jet aircraft, improved by an average of 1.3% per annum, needs further research knowing between 2010 and 2020, the average fuel burn reduction was below 1%, when most fuel efficient jet engines entered airline service. Other industries now held to higher emissions standards & shorter timelines for implementation, are aware of this & argue they now carry an unfair cost burden with relative to the Paris Agreement goal for Net-Zero emissions in 2050. Civil Society Groups say the goal aircraft manufacturers aspire to for 2030 are unrealistic, and they are demanding higher pollution standards for legislation and regulation of aircraft.