Feb. 22, 2022, © Leeham News: The headlines and debate over ecoAviation focus on the airframe and engine manufacturers, for good reason. But the aerospace supply chain is mindful of its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues as well.
Pratt & Whitney makes the engines that emit emissions and burn fuel. It works to reduce fuel burn and emissions. PW also is exploring electric, hybrid and hydrogen alternatives. Sister company Collins Aerospace works to find solutions to reduce emissions in other areas.
“We play a big role in sustainability,” says LeAnn Ridgeway, Vice President, Sustainability. Collins purchased FlightAware, which is perhaps best know for flight tracking in competition with FlightRadar24. But FlightAware provides route planning and ADS-B services, among others.
Interviewed on the sidelines of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) conference Feb. 8, Collins provides programs to airlines aimed at improving on-time operations at airports.
Being able to predict on-time arrivals, shaving even a minute or two per flight, adds up to millions of dollars in savings over a year, Ridgeway said. En route planning with ARINC Direct, another Collins company, aims to allow for more direct air routing. This saves time, money, fuel and reduces emissions.
Collins units make components that go into engines, allowing the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The companies support PW in its research for other alternative power sources, like electric, hybrid, and hydrogen.
All these alternatives require industrial and government support. Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, said trillions of dollars of investment and tax breaks by governments and private industry are required to meet 2050 net carbon-neutral goals and SAF use. There is skepticism about whether 2050 and intermediate milestones can be met.
Ridgeway is optimistic.
“Once you see momentum going, and the stars are lining up, things will happen more quickly.
“Aerospace is one of the hardest to abate industrial sectors,” Ridgeway said. “Solving this problem will require collaboration and it’s going to require contributions from all the stakeholders.”