The prospect of an international airport in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru has haunted the populations of Chinchero and Urumbamba for 40 years. With construction now underway, local initiatives and civil society organisations fear the destructive consequences...
Presenting superpolluting planes, the Paris Airshow disregards climate emergency
Stay Grounded, an international network of more than 120 organisations working to curb the aviation sector’s unrestrained expansion, sharply criticizes the celebration of aviation growth and the presentation of supersonic start-up Boom at the Paris Air Show.
Paris, June 18, 2018 – From 17th to the 23rd of June, the 53rd International Air and Space Trade Show is held in Paris-Le Bourget, almost four years after the signing, in the very same place, of the Paris Agreement, where 195 countries committed themselves to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Still, the aviation industry is thriving, and its contribution to climate breakdown is skyrocketing.
Hypocrisy in the face of the climate crisis
Stay Grounded condemns the excessive growth of aviation which will be celebrated at the Paris Air Show this week. Especially, the presentation of new developments in supersonic aircraft by the start-up Boom Supersonic is criticized. “Celebrating the new supersonic developments at the venue where the Paris Agreement was signed, is a hypocrisy in the face of the climate crisis,” says Mira Kapfinger, Stay Grounded Campaigner. “Supersonic aircraft will be super polluters. Pushing this technology contradicts all efforts to reach the Paris goals.”
Severe impacts of supersonic aircraft
Supersonic aircraft, under development by U.S. companies like Boom, Aerion, and Spike, are likely to be much noisier, more polluting, and worse for the global climate than comparable subsonic aircraft. Boom Supersonic alone has ambitions to sell up to 2,000 small commercial jets by 2035. Severe environmental hazards would result if Boom were to meet its sales targets. Its “Overture” aircraft could be 5 to 7 times as carbon intensive as equivalent subsonic aircraft.
Supersonics will be noisy as well. They could double the area around airports exposed to substantial noise pollution compared to existing subsonic aircraft of the same size and impose disruptive sonic booms as frequently as once every 5 minutes in parts of Europe and North America.
Stop the supersonic push
Almost half of the potential supersonic transport market lies in Europe. „We need to stop the supersonic push here in Europe. Instead of making aviation even more harmful, all efforts should be put into measures to reduce flights,” says Mira Kapfinger, Stay Grounded Campaigner.
Already today, air traffic alone is responsible for 5% of the additional human-induced climate warming and the number of flights are expected to double in the next 20 years. Whilst flying benefits a minority – less than 10 percent of the world’s population have been on a plane – it harms the majority. Stay Grounded therefore urges the elected representatives invited to the Paris Airshow to refrain from honoring the event with their presence, and to commit themselves to courageous policies which organize the decrease of flights and foster alternatives instead.
- French press release of Stay Grounded members in France
- Article „Supersonics are superpolluters – let’s counter the new aircraft push“
- Stay Grounded manifesto “13 Steps for a Just Transport System and for Rapidly Reducing Aviation”
- Report “The Illusion of Green Flying”
Mira Kapfinger / Campaigner, Stay Grounded Network