For decades, the aerospace industry has been considered a major polluter. Today, manufacturers and airlines are faced with a dramatically fluctuating business landscape mainly because of volatile jet fuel prices. However, the situation is not all bad news. There are actions that airlines and manufacturers can take to reinforce their position. They must reduce the oil-based jet fuel consumption and the noise pollution by exploring new technologies, nurture the growth of alternative energies and optimisze their business models. These actions build up what we call ‘Green Aviation’.
Fuel consumption and alternative sources
Major manufactures, such as Airbus and Boeing, had begun working on more eco-friendly aircrafts, even before the recession of 2008. By 2010 Airbus introduced the A320neo which reduces fuel consumption by 16%, and soon after, came Boeing 787 Dreamliner that reduces usage by roughly 20%. 
Since then, improvements to consumption have been a high priority with each new aircraft.
Another important part of the Green Aviation evolution is diversifying fuel types. The aerospace industry faces fuel cost, environmental, and energy security challenges that arise from petroleum based jet fuel use. Sustainable alternative jet fuels can help to address these challenges. Researchers have investigated a host of different sources, including coal to liquid (CTL), gas to liquid (GTL), and biomass to liquid (BTL).
In the Green Aviation perspective, Technion researchers have developed and patented a process that can be used onboard aircraft while in flight to produce hydrogen from water and aluminum particles safely and cheaply. The hydrogen can be transformed into electrical energy for inflight use.
This breakthrough could pave the way of non-polluting more-electric aircraft that replace current hydraulic and pneumatic systems typically powered by the main engine.
Aircraft noise continues to be regarded as the most significant hindrance to increasing the capacity of the National Airspace System, largely because of nuisance caused by noise near major metropolitan airports. Although the Federal Aviation Administration has invested more than $5 billion in airport noise reduction programs since 1980, the problem persists.
The goal is to develop an aircraft technology and airspace system operations to shrink the nuisance noise footprint until it is about one-sixth its size by 2020, and contained within the airport property boundaries by 2025.
REACH: Aerospace supply continuity management
REACH regulation obliges aircraft producers and airlines to replace chemicals considered to pose a risk to human health and the environment or to seek regulatory authorisation for discharge.
REACH sets out both the legal framework and regulatory authority. Its critics and companies’ concerns are numerous. Nevertheless, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulation is held up as a global model and has been implemented to ensure the sustainability of aircrafts production operation in recognition of needs for aircraft safety.
Selma, Consultant, Leyton France