The airline industry rises above

© National Geographic Society

© National Geographic Society

Yesterday’s Financial Times stated that the airline sector is the first sector that has taken a united stand against global warming by annoucing an industry-wide plan to cut carbon emissions.  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that memebrs have agreed to cut net emissions by 50 percent by 2050 (from 2005 levels).  The airlines also plan to improve carbon efficiency by an average of 1.5 percent per year up to 2020, at which point net emissions will be stabilised.

Is this good news?  Well,  the business perspective, represented by a senior strategist at BGC Partners “questioned potential costs of the plan’s propsosed emission cuts.”  Meanwhile, environmental campaigners said “the airlines’ plan did not go far enough.”  While it may never be possible to keep everyone happy, at Cavotec we are encouraged by such IATA’s asiprations.  As a proud IATA member, we are in support of any movement towards a more clean and efficient industry.

Achieving the impossible

“All that is impossible remains to be achieved.”

-Jules Verne

 HB-SIA prototype, ©Le Truc/Solar Impulse

HB-SIA prototype, ©Le Truc/Solar Impulse

This inspiring quote runs in the banner on the Solar Impulse homepage.  And today, Solar Impluse unveils a seemingly impossible project – the HB-SIA solar-powered aircraft prototype.

As an active supplier in the Airports industry, constantly on the look-out for innovative solutions to reduce the industry’s environmental impact, this is encouraging news for Cavotec.  The project is in part sponsored by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) of which we are a Strategic Partners, so we are keen on following the development of this monumental venture.

Solar cells on wing surface ©Le Truce/Solar Impulse

Solar cells on wing surface ©Le Truc/Solar Impulse

The prototype unveiled today represents a trade-off between weight and performance.  Currently, the HB-SIA has a wingspan of 61 metres, a weight of just 1,500 kg and has room for a pilot only.  The upper surfaces of the wings are embedded with 12,000 photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity.  It flies relatively slowly, at about 70kph in windless conditions.  However, if the prototype succeeds in flying through the night, the design of its successor, the HB-SIB will be finalised.

The first test flight isplanned for later in the year.

For more information about the HB-SIA, the June 13th edition of the Economist features an artcile on the projoect, or visit the Solar Impulse website.

What do you think?  Is today forever marked as the day the Airports industry started anew?

We are now an IATA Strategic Partner!

We are proud to announce that we have become a Strategic Partner with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 240 airlines – the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines among them – representing 94 percent of scheduled international traffic.

The association is the primary industry forum through which Member airlines and their Partners develop global aviation standards. IATA Strategic Partners are suppliers and service providers of the air transport industry who, as members of IATA Strategic Partnerships, interact with IATA and Member airlines in the development of industry solutions – perfect for us!