Hidden cost of flying- unassessed and unaddressed Pollution

Aviation is the biggest polluter world over as it is using fossil fuels without any remorse. The fossil fuels consumed above 30000 feet to 38000 feet above sea level emit ozone depleting gasses. The main and important reasons behind aircraft altitude is that, as the air gets thinner with every foot climbed, planes can travel more easily and therefore move faster and burn less fuel, saving money.

The "sweet spot" of flying is regarded as between 35,000 and 42,000 feet

The fact remains that some of the major airlines of the world seem to be lately realizing the adverse role of their big passenger jets on climate changes resulting in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the engine-exhausts into the earth's atmosphere. Since aircraft engines emit gases and particulates that reduce air quality.

One Airbus moderate size generates pollution equivalent to 336 Diesel Cars. All the studies conducted have always concentrated on surface transportation system and road transport.

A Boeing 747 uses 7840 kg of aviation fuel for the take-off, climb and descent portions of the flight and these account for about 250 km. For journeys longer than that, the plane will use 10.1kg for each additional kilometre under typical cruising conditions. So to fly from Heathrow to Edinburgh (530 km) uses 10,668 kg of fuel, which releases a little over 33 tonnes of CO2.

Whereas a Ford Mondeo 1.8 TDCi emits 151g of CO2 per km and covers 650km to reach Edinburgh. That works out to be 98 kg for a single passenger, compared to 79 kg per person for the Jumbo, assuming it carries its full complement of 416 passengers. But you could drive 336 cars to Edinburgh for the same CO2 as one plane.

The increasing size of aircraft, the emission of black smoke during take-off, and the density of air traffic at major airports, have drawn environmentalists' attention to pollution by aircraft.

A loaded jumbo 747, for instance, uses tens of thousands of litres of fuel on merely take-off. Further pollution by aircraft arises from the jettisoning of spare fuel after being airborne. Under such circumstances, it must be released at a height sufficient to allow it to vaporize so that it does not reach the ground in liquid form. Commercial jet planes make a significant contribution to the problem of global warming.

According to a UN report, aviation is responsible for over half of the pollution caused by transportation on the surface. Scientists estimate that the effect of aviation emissions on the climate is up to five times the impact of emissions occurring on the ground. The primary gas emitted by jet aircraft engines is carbon dioxide, which, scientists believe, can survive in the atmosphere up to 100 years.

It means denying the coming generations from living in a world where they can breathe clean air, enjoy diverse ecosystems and eat healthy food. In India the number of passenger and freight aircraft flown by private airlines is fast multiplying.

But at the same time no one has computed the Ecological disaster these aircrafts are creating world over, compounding the global warming. All Extinction Rebellions must come together and join hands in containing pollution caused by Aviation Industry.