The public needs to be clear as to whether it wants the aviation industry to cut down on harmful emissions as a priority over issues such as noise pollution.
Speaking at the World Travel Market’s airlines and the impact on the environment seminar, Society of British Aerospace Companies head of corporate environmental affairs Dr Mark Watson said a new kind of propellor which can be used on short haul flights has been proven to drastically cut harmful emissions.
However, because it is far noisier than a conventional jet engine he remains uncertain as to whether or not the public will want to see it introduced.
He said: “We might be moving to reduce emissions but (in the process) we are increasing the noise. That’s an issue for the public to think about what they really want.”
Eurostar commercial director Nick Mercer added the government also needed to form a joined up policy in the UK to see better co-ordination of transport policies.
However, all speakers attending the seminar agreed that building a new airport to replace Heathrow in the Thames estuary was not a viable option.
* More WTM 2008 coverage at www.travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2008