Environment and climate impacts of aviation continue growing

The European Aviation Environmental Report 2019, published jointly by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL, provides an updated assessment of the environmental performance of the aviation sector in Europe.

The report states that, while aviation has produced economic benefits, stimulated innovation and improved connectivity within Europe, the sector's growth has also increased its negative impacts on climate change, noise and air quality.

Key findings of the report show that the number of flights by 8% between 2014 and 2017, and are expected to grow by 42% from 2017 to 2040. There has been an increase in overall noise and emissions since 2014, despite technological improvements and fleet renewal.

In 2016, domestic aviation and international aviation were together accountable for 3.6% of the total EU28 greenhouse gas emissions and for 13.4% of the emissions from transport. By 2040, CO2 and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from aviation are expected to increase by at least 21% and 16%, respectively.

The environmental efficiency of aviation continues to improve and, by 2040, further improvements are expected in average fuel burn per passenger kilometer flown (-12 %) and noise energy per flight (-24 %).

The EEA has previously analysed the environmental and climate impacts of aviation in its 2017 TERM report ‘Aviation and shipping — impacts on Europe's environment’.

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