Congress Scrutinizes Aviation Emissions

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The House Subcommittee on Aviation met on Tuesday for a hearing about aviation's impact on the environment. Noise and emissions from aviation are expected to double by 2025, the panel said, so aggressive action is needed soon to prevent that scenario. Gerald Dillingham, speaking for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, told the panel that NextGen developments will improve efficiency, but more funding is needed for research into better technology. National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James Coyne also testified at the hearing. NetJets, a member of NATA, is investing in the development of an ultra-low-emissions jet fuel, Coyne said. Several representatives of the airline industry noted that given the cost of fuel, the industry is doing all it can to improve efficiency.

Mary Ann Schaffer, of the Air Line Pilots Association, said pilots conserve fuel by various strategies, including single-engine taxiing, continuous descent arrivals, and flying at optimal altitudes and speeds.