Aim High ‘Sustainable Futures’ Writing Competition Runner Up – Khadija Dilnawaz

By Khadija Dilnawaz

Air travel has become indispensable; A driver of social, economic and environmental development worldwide that has transformed the way we travel, interact and do business. A future without aviation would simply be daunting to envision which is why air travel is gliding towards cleaner energy to attain ecologically responsible movement from renewable sources.

Approved ‘drop-in’ fuels, where biofuel can be blended with traditional fuel without needing to modify the architecture of planes or airport fuelling networks, have become a reality. Women empowerment is yet another bright spot, with the number of female pilots rising to 4,000 globally and thanks to the marketisation of air transport, the true cost of flying has decreased by 60% across the last 40 years, allowing it to be available to more and more people worldwide. I believe access to sustainable air travel must be secured for generations to come as climate change becomes a clear concern of our modern world, especially when the consequence of humankind on the climate involves commitment on numerous aspects.

Aviation contributes to 2% of human-made CO₂ emissions hence the industry has been challenged to mitigate it’s net carbon emissions whilst demand for air-travel and transport increases considerably. In this case, the use of hydrogen as a main energy source is among the most promising technological facilitators on the road to sustainable aviation. The emergence of hydrogen-based innovations will, nevertheless, introduce new risks to aircraft design, construction, operation and repurposing.

Moreover, debris is yet another consequence of human activity in outer space. Effectively, more than 21,000 pieces of debris (greater than 10 cm) are being monitored in orbit around earth, and there are just as many as 500,000 untracked pieces (larger than 1 cm). Debris clashing with one of the more than 1,800 functioning satellites could lead to severe damage or even annihilation of the satellite, and accordingly, launches must be as eco-friendly as possible; whether it be by deriving fuel from hydrogen, plastic, magma or maintaining procedure while clearing space debris, supporting new sustainable transport inventions can open doors. Cost-reduction possibilities for rocket launch are increasingly needed in the current market scenario, hence why mid-air recovery is the future of greener rocket landing.

To strike a balance between the three pillars of sustainability would enable air travel to expand responsibly, while at the same time ensuring freedom of air transport. The truth is sustainable cities cannot prosper without self-sustaining, reliable and incorporated transportation networks which stimulate not only job growth, business development, entertainment, cultural activities and services but also promote rather efficient and effective usage of current transportation capacity and amenities, while guaranteeing interconnection between major urban areas, secluded island communities and other air-based locations perpetually.

What I feel every time I look up at the sky and an aeroplane whizzes by is something that cannot be explained and there is no doubt every single individual should get the chance to fly, to forget all their worries 35,000 feet above the sky.

To just feel.

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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