FAA's Blakey: Aviation Can Be Eco-friendly

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FAA Administrator Marion Blakey this week committed to an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from air travel, both by exploring the use of alternative fuels and by improving efficiency. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Blakey on Monday announced that the U.S. will participate in an international effort called AIRE -- the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions. The initiative will comprise efforts from government, industry, airlines, manufacturers and service providers to develop operational procedures and standards that are environmentally friendly. "The focus of AIRE is gate-to-gate," Blakey said. "We want to take every opportunity to whittle away at a carbon footprint that's already low. Every place we can make a difference, we will." On Tuesday, Blakey said two studies now are underway to examine fuel alternatives, with results expected in September. [more] The first study looks at feasibility, costs, barriers and technical issues. The second study will take a look at the environmental benefits. The studies bring together manufacturers, airlines, airports, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. "When you get that kind of firepower together and you start to explore, good things happen," Blakey said. "I'm confident that we'll be able to make some advances."