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Continued growth of the aviation sector has produced economic benefits and connectivity in Europe, however environmental and health impacts have increased and are expected to grow substantially in the next 20 years.
In particular the predicted increase in greenhouse gas emissions, if not addressed, could undermine efforts to mitigate climate change and limit the global temperature rise to below the target of 2degC in the Paris Agreement.
The report states that overall environmental impacts from aviation have increased by 10% for CO2, 12% for NOX and 14% for noise since 2014.
Looking ahead, in the most likely traffic forecast, existing environmental impact mitigation measures are unlikely to counteract the increasing environmental impacts as the number of flights in Europe are expected to grow by 42% from 2017 to 2040. In that same timeframe, aircraft CO2 emissions are predicted to increase by 21% and NOX emissions by 16%.
The number of airports that handle more than 50,000 annual aircraft movements is expected to increase from 82 in 2017 to 110 in 2040 and aviation noise may therefore affect new populations in the future.
The aviation sector must act – EASA to take on a leading role
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky underlined that “we need concrete and effective action to reduce aviation emissions over the next 10 years in order to support the Paris Agreement objectives and mitigate climate change. The aviation sector must play its part in this global effort. Addressing noise and air quality issues at a local level are also critical.”