The solutions to reduce the climate impact of aviation

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Technological and operational solutions CO2 Contrails/
Induced cirrus
NOx Deployment complexity Timeframe for large-scale deployment
Carbon offsetting
Reduces CO2 effects but effectiveness and quality of compensation variable and difficult to verify
Avoiding areas where contrails are formed
Slight increase due to change of course
Slight increase but possible decrease with lower altitude


Introduction of metrics to identify trade-offs between CO2 and non-CO2 effects to ensure a beneficial effect on the climate
10-15 years
Formation flights
Slight decrease due to fuel savings
Little or no effect?
Slight decrease due to fuel savings


More constraints on flight planning and air traffic management
De-aromatized fuel
Small decrease during flight but potential increase during production
Reduced radiative effects in the absence of aromatics?


Introduction of a new fuel category
CO2 reduction compared to kerosene (life cycle)
Reduced radiative effects in the absence of aromatics?


Availability of sustainable biomass for production, investment and scale-up of the industry, cost.
15-25 years
Potentially neutral if made from atmospheric CO2 and decarbonised electricity
Reduced radiative effects in the absence of aromatics?


Technological maturity, energy efficiency and the need for decarbonised electricity, cost.
Potentially CO2 neutral if made from low-carbon energy sources
More frequent? But potentially lower optical thickness and shorter life?

Very high

Complete redesign of aircraft and refuelling infrastructure. Associated investment. Production development. Cost.
>30 years

Source: Updated analysis of the non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation and potential policy measures pursuant to the EU Emissions, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), 2020