Aim High ‘Sustainable Futures’ Writing Competition Runner Up – Connor Beattie

By Connor Beattie

The ‘Three Pillars of Sustainability’ can be applied to all aspects of our lives and in all corners of industry. But it is an incredibly important issue for the transport industry, and in particular the aviation industry. The aviation industry accounts for 2-3% of all global manmade emissions, which is roughly nine hundred million tonnes of CO2 and even more gases on top of that.

As a young person, who will one day inherit the planet from the previous generations, this heavily concerns and scares me. There’s clear and obvious change happening around the world with regards to sustainability, however I still believe more can be done by governments, organisations and individuals.

While on the course, I learnt about some of the most recent developments in the industry, such as battery powered aircraft and hydrogen powered ‘aviation power trains’. These are two practical solutions to reduce the emissions released by the burning of jet fuels and other aviation fuels. At this time, as far as I am aware, these are technologies that are being pushed and developed by only private companies. In the future I would love to see governments around the world invest in these technologies.

This would feed in to all the Pillars: it would reduce emissions, therefore protecting the environment, it would allow more opportunities for outreach programs using the powers of government, socially benefiting many people especially in times like these and, finally, the economic gain. The creation and development of new technologies requires new people to enter the industry, creating new employment prospects.

The use of zero emission aviation would allow for an increase in air traffic with no damage to the earth, allowing for more frequent trade via air ways (right now over a third of all global trade is done by air). The drawback, however, is the financial cost of investing in this type of project. But it is just that, an investment, with returns that could be huge.

I have focused on just one example of a route we could take to make the industry more sustainable, but there are in fact, many more. These include maximising the efficiency of operations and carbon offsetting. These are all possible directions to take to a similar goal which is environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Clearly the aviation industry is not the only section of human activity that pollutes, but it is a very good place to start the change and the technologies for it are already there and require development. We just need to use them. My generation will inherit the earth someday, and I hope that there will be something left for generations further in the future.

Back in February, Fly2Help ran its Aim High Sustainable Futures Programme.

Thirty one teenagers took part in three days of talks by inspirational speakers such as DfT Aviation Ambassador, Jake Brattle, Paul Mahy-Rhodes MEIT, and representatives from Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Flyby Technology, Electroflight, Skyborne, ZeroAvia, UK Research and Innovation, TEKTowr, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The Aviation Base contributed by producing learning materials for the students to tie all the talks together, and born out of this was a writing competition based on the ‘3 Pillars’ of Sustainability. The 500-word articles were judged and the winner was awarded £500 worth of gliding lessons.

Fly2Help will be running another Sustainable Futures programme in October, so if you would like to be involved or know any teenagers that might benefit, please get in touch with them.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in All Articles, Sustainability, Technological Developments
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