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I am writing in response to a recent media statement from an airline industry advocacy group, Global Gateway Alliance, which urges the Federal Aviation Administration to continue its avoidance of environmental laws regarding Tnnis, the new NextGen flight route over north Queens.
It claims the route reduces fuel consumption and increases efficiency, and should therefore continue to be exempt from environmental review.
In press and media, the FAA and industry groups often fail to make clear that the efficiency improvements are based on a per flight criteria and that the growth of the aviation industry will outpace these efficiency improvements. The reduction in per flight emission will not result in a reduction in overall emissions for the industry.
In truth, the whole point of NextGen is to increase the capacity of airports and the number of planes in the air. More planes equate to an increase in net emissions, not a decrease.
For example, you can replace an old air conditioner with a more efficient unit, thus reducing emissions and saving energy, but if you buy four new units for every room in the house, you have increased overall emissions regardless of the efficiency of each individual unit.
According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a respected climate research institution, aviation emissions will double in the coming years. The FAA expects the aviation industry to grow 90 percent by 2060. There is nothing green about it.
Again, the increase in the number of total aircraft through NextGen will lead to an increase in overall emissions, regardless of per flight efficiency. And with respect to climate change, it is the overall numbers that really counts, not per flight numbers.
So why should NextGen flight procedures be exempt from a full environmental study based on a per flight emissions reduction?
Though the FAA and industry groups would have you believe they have achieved carbon neutrality through NextGen, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no basis for the evasion of longstanding environmental laws and the FAA should conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Study on Tnnis immediately.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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