The burning hole in our atmosphere: Air travel
Any person who has ever set foot on an airplane knows that the plane is not only propelled by fans, but also some powerful engines. These engines rely on a lot of fuel, not only for lift off, but also to keep the plane going at incredible speed towards the destination. The jet fuel tankers are usually in the same area as the airport to allow for fast and efficient transport to the airport. These tankers are between the size of large silos and football stadiums. There are usually about four grouped together.
With a lot of fuel consumption, the obvious after-effect is naturally a high emission rate. There have been a lot of technological advancements in the aviation field, however, not enough to bring the emission increase down. The need for air travel has increased so dramatically that it is very difficult to just put restrictions on airport companies the world over.
There are also very few alternatives where jet fuel is concerned. With the implementation of turbofan and turboprop engines, the effect on the emissions is just not enough.
Is there a future for bio fuels?
Bio fuels seem to contribute quite a bit in terms of being an alternate source of fuel. It also has a significant effect on emissions. Scientists and even economists are, however, sceptically having bio fuels as the long term solution, as it creates another problem entirely. Bio fuels use oils and fats to burn and this could have an effect on the availability of products. Oils and fats would need to be specifically manufactured for fuel, thus putting a lot of strain on the food supply chain. This will end up making food almost unaffordable.
Ethanol is in the same boat here as it relies on natural plants like maize. This would mean that the demand as a food source and as a fuel source would put quite a bit of strain on any economy. This is creating a serious dilemma for economies the world over.
What is the future of air travel?
Unless we are able to develop a safe energy source where fuel will no longer be needed, the future is slim for air travel. The rules governing air travel is set to change, as the demand for air travel needs to decrease until an alternate source is found. This would mean that airport companies and airlines will have to face the possibility of a mass downscale in business and profits. Passengers are in future going to be discouraged for flying, and they will no longer be able to claim any loyalty bonuses. Loyalty programs have been found to be counter-productive as regular flying should not be encouraged. Passengers are encouraged to rather use other modes of transport, especially where domestic flights were considered. There seem to be a lot happening in the world of trains that might just alleviate the pressure on air travel. Trains that are powered by Hydrogen are currently being investigated. The timing is perfect in light of the fate of air travel.