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Improving Environmental Performance


Airlines are united in their determination to manage and reduce their impact on the environment in partnership with airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), and aircraft manufacturers.

​Tackling carbon (CO2) emissions is at the top of the agenda, and the industry has a well established strategy and globally agreed to targets to that end. Noise is addressed through the ICAO Balanced Approach. To deal with more general environmental issues, airlines are working together to establish and share best practices, including the use of environment systems and environmental assessments.

Industry priorities

IATA recognizes the need to address the global challenge of climate change and adopted a set of ambitious targets to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport:

  • An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020
  • A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth)
  • A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels 

Aircraft Technology

As one of the four pillars to mitigate emissions and reach environmental targets, improved technology— which includes the development sustainable aviation fuels—is expected to have the largest impact. In the Technology Roadmap report, we examine some of the technological advancements on the horizon. This includes radical new concepts in the areas of propulsion and design.

The video below provides two potential aircraft concepts incorporating new and/or developing technologies.


Main IATA programs

In order to further reduce aviation’s impact on the environment, IATA has set up several programs to assist airlines in improving their environmental performance:

Advocacy efforts

In partnership with industry stakeholders and governments, IATA is focused on developing sensible environmental policies to enable and promote sustainable and eco-efficient air transport. IATA advocates that as a global industry, aviation requires global solutions.

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