What determines aviation emissions?




What determines aviation emissions? 


Aviation emissions reflect the level of overall aviation activity. The growth of air travel for the past several decades has been very rapid. Demand for travel services, both passenger travel and freight transportation, is increasing substantially.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics a 21.5 percent increase in population, 32 percent increase in the labor force, and 90 percent increase in GDP between 1980 and 2000 have driven this demand.

The chart shows the growth of aviation and the economy. Demand for air travel grows as the economy grows and prosperity increases. Over the long term, we expect that demand for air transportation will continue to grow rapidly to support our economic productivity, our quality of life, and our national security. 


More and more the worldwide transportation system is becoming an integrated transportation network. For most long distance travel, however, aviationís speed, convenience, and cost overcome consideration of other travel modes.

It only faces competition on short trips or when moving low value or high volume products. Looking to the future, the forecast is for continued strong growth as shown in the following graph.  

This is consistent with the demand for transportation generally, which is increasing largely in response to very positive structural changes in both the domestic and global economies.

As a result, growth of the aircraft fleet and expansion and further development of existing airports are expected. This also means that emissions from aviation activity are expected to grow and concerns about aviation emissions will also grow.

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