The environment and air travel


Air travel affects the environment

Some of the busiest airports see up to 10 million people a year. There are over 10,000 planes at any point in time and over 100,000 flights per day. Do I need to say more about our love of travel. The world is getting smaller and aeroplanes allow us to get to our destinations faster and cheaper, but unfortunately, planes also pollute the environment. An average plane can take over 100 tonnes of fuel at around $100,000 a time according to See the link below for more about electric planes.



The numbers are staggering, there are around 10,000 commercial planes in the air at any point in time or around 100,000 flights per day. believes we have nearly 40,000 planes worldwide and more will be needed to meet our constant demand to travel. Planes carry more than 10m people per day or 4billion people a year. The business of flying people is huge with a sector revenue in excess of $825 billion per year and soon to reach $1 Trillion, but what is worrying to environmetalists is the level of pollution being generated by that sector as well.

No doubt cars generate a lot of pollution, hence the growing need for electric vehicles, but electric planes is slightly different. You can drive your car to work to recharge whilst working or stop at a charging bay half way through your journey, not so for electric planes and there lies the issue. The sun generates more energy in a few minutes than we use in a whole year, so how do we capture the massive energy of the sun and combine it with the electric power to fly planes?.

The world needs entrepreneurs to think of solutions to help solve the current issues. We already have solar powered small planes, but we need the technology to make sure that such planes can carry the heavy cargo that we now carry with us on our journeys. At the moment, the most logical solution may be a hybrid combination of electric and petrol. This may allow planes to still use fuel for take-off, but a switch to battery power when planes are cruising at altitudes.

The issue is that there is a need for a rethink of the way and method in which we travel, but will be impossible to see us going back to the days of sea travel and no faster mode of transportation is conceivable at an age where we want things faster and quicker than ever before.

The opportunities are endless for entrepreneurs in this space.

Dr. Ade Otukoya B.Sc, LLB, FCCA, MBA, PhD