Hong Kong - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted aviation’s commitment to its environmental responsibility at the launch of its aviation and environment exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition was inaugurated by Tony Tyler, CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways and Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors, and Paul Steele, IATA’s Director for Aviation Environment.

The inauguration took place as Asia’s aviation leaders gathered in Hong Kong for the Greener Skies conference, Asia-Pacific’s major conference on aviation and the environment, which begins on 6 October.

“This exhibition showcases aviation’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. Aviation is a responsible industry with a vision for carbon-neutral growth on the way to a carbon-free future. The industry is committed to a four pillar strategy to reduce its carbon emissions based on investment in technology, effective operations, efficient infrastructure and positive economic measures. In 2009, the carbon footprint of air transport is expected to shrink by 7%. Some 5% of this is due to the recession and 2% is directly related to efficiency gains from the four-pillar strategy,” said Steele.

Mr Tyler said: "We recognise that aviation is part of the climate change problem and we want to be part of the solution. The airline industry has put forward a very positive and workable solution. As far as I know, aviation is the only sector to have a global plan for its emissions. It’s all about the industry working together to reduce our 2 per cent share of global manmade CO2 emissions. It is critical that the post-Kyoto protocol includes aviation, and a global emissions trading scheme for aviation. The alternative to a global scheme is patchwork of uneven, unfair, competition-distorting national and regional schemes that will be bad for aviation, bad for our customers and will make air travel more expensive."

Visitors to the stand are guided on a remarkable journey from the inception of powered flight to the present day in a structure that resembles a futuristic aircraft engine. This journey illustrates the key elements of IATA’s four-pillar strategy on the environment – focussing on technology, operations and infrastructure. For example:

  • Continuous descent approaches which reduce carbon emissions by up to 630kg per landing.
  • Reducing weight on board aircraft: loading 1kg less on every flight would save 170 million kg of fuel annually
  • In total, IATA’s work to reduce emissions through more efficient routings, best practices in fuel efficiency and more efficient flying has saved nearly 70 million tonnes of CO2 emissions since 2004.

The journey through the stand extends to the future, exploring new technologies such as algae-based biofuels, solar power and fuel cells that could provide the building blocks for developing a carbon emission-free plane in the next 50 years.

The exhibition is made possible with the support of Cathay Pacific Airways, Swire Properties and Airport Authority Hong Kong. The display is bilingual (English and Chinese) and is located at the UG Star Street Lobby of Three Pacific Place from today until 19 Oct, after which it will be displayed at the East Hall of Departure Level at Hong Kong International Airport until the end of November.

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • The IATA environment exhibition is touring European and Asian airports with two displays. In Europe it has been placed at airports in Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Geneva, and Istanbul and is currently located at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. In Asia it has been placed in Kuala Lumpur and will now spend two months in Hong Kong, first at Pacific Place and then it will move to Hong Kong International Airport.
  • The stands are 3 metres by 6 metres and are 2.1 metres high. Touch-screens and interactive models explore and explain issues such as alternative fuel sources, revolutionary concepts in airframe and engine design, the shortening of routes and operational improvements in the airline industry. The stand includes “Destination Zero” – essentially, ‘the film of the stand.’

For more information, please contact:

Albert Tjoeng
Manager Corporate Communications
Asia Pacific
Tel: +65 64992286
Email: tjoenga@iata.org