According to current forecasts despite short-term declines related to business cycles, air traffic will continue growing in the long-term. The development of CO2- emissions of global air traffic is mainly dependent on technology progress and the use of new aircraft types in the world fleet. The air transport system is featuring relatively long product life cycles and a relatively long service life of each individual aircraft, thus technology innovations only slowly spread throughout the world fleet.
The prevalence of aircraft equipped with current technology will already result in a significant decoupling of traffic and CO2-emissions growth. By progress of aircraft technology, optimisation of flight control and the use of fuels from regenerative energy sources, CO2 emissions can be expected to be stabilised on double the level of the year 2000 from the year 2030 onwards.
Development of Technology and Air Transport emitted CO2 until 2050 (Download PDF [german])
MEASURING THE LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF AIR TRANSPORT – AN ASSESSMENT OF THE GLOBAL AIRLINE FLEET AND ITS CO2-EMISSIONS UP TO THE YEAR 2050 (Download Paper PDF)