Of late, the world is concerned about environmental conservation and management; domestic and international legislations have been enacted to control operations in different industries in the efforts of attaining sustainable development agendas. The aviation industry has had its share of controls that have affected its operations negatively and positively.
National Air Transport Association applauds the efforts made by environment conservation movements, but it is quick to point out that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policies have limited growth in the industry (Aviation Today, 2008). This paper discusses the impact of environmental issues and laws in the aviation industry.
Although the industry appreciates, the efforts of environmental movements like Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Friends of the Earth, the industry feel that the requirements of the set policies limit its growth.
The legislations generally wish to reduce emission from aircrafts; however, they have not developed the machines and engines that are environmentally friendly, they leave the burden to aviation companies. When a company is planning on its developments, it sets the base on the available base of operation; however, the same operation level is challenged by environmental conservation movements. The industry thus lacks a constant source of income necessary for development.
To initiate programs requested by the legislations, it requires massive capital investments; this diverts the need for resources. Aviation companies are left at cross roads whether they should initiate recommended environmental programs or they should consider normal development policies. When aviation companies produce environmentally unfriendly products, legislations in some countries charges them pollution taxes that is not an allowable when computing corporation taxes. The taxes are an additional expense to the company reducing resources available for services expansion.
To be compliant, some machinery and aircrafts have been regarded useless since they cannot life to the standards of the legislations; this is an additional cost of disposal to the industry. In some companies, they have received negative publicity from the conservation groups as they advocate for efficiency and environmental conservation, this has directly affected such businesses (Linda, 2007).
The standards set by environment laws and legislations have forced aviation companies to use expensive equipments that are “green compliant”, the cost of such equipments is passed down to the consumer making the services offered more expensive. According to the low of demand, when prices of a service has increased, then the demand for the commodity increases; with the expensive equipments and operating materials, then the demand for aviation services reduces.
Some of the commodities that the laws want used include disposable bags in airplanes, fuel-efficient aircrafts, and aircrafts that do not produce noise.
Kyoto protocol that was ratified in Japan, on 11 December 1997 and aimed to be fully implemented by 16 February 2005, aimed at reducing green house emission . It was a project of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and ratified by 37 industrialized countries and European community.
The main aim of the protocol was to ensure that emission of green house gasses was reduced by 5% below their level in 1990 by the end of 2010. The protocol targeted the major greenhouse emitters; the aviation industry was one of the considered industries. When fulfilling the needs of such conventions, the aviation industry has lost some business at least for the short run (Ernesto & Zedillo, 2008).
In the long-term, it is expected that environmental laws and legislations are likely to benefits the aviation industry, the benefits are:
Invention and innovativeness
As aviation, industry tries to cope with the set laws and legislations; there has been an increased innovation of environmental friendly equipments and machinery. The machinery that has been developed includes those, which are fuel-efficient, and those that emit minimal noise. The fuel-efficient machinery has reduced operating cost of doing business in the industry. Although the equipments are slightly expensive, in the end they will be of great benefit to the company. The continued innovation is a cost management policy in the industry.
Tourism and the effects its has on aviation
One area that laws and legislation on environmental conservation is likely to benefit is tourism; advocators for sustainable developments are keen o conservation of natural environmental and wild animals. Natural environments and wild animals create the differences that exist in different parts of the world. On its part, the differences are the main tourist attractions. As tourist move from one country to another, they need the services of the aviation industry, thus the laws are seen to create a continued business to the industry (EPA, 2011).
Environmental conservation laws and legislations have negative effect on the aviation industry; however, in the long-run, the industry is likely to benefits from the legislations. In the short run, operations and investments costs of the industry have increased as the industry enacts policies and acquires equipments that are compliant with the environmental conservation legislations.
Aviation Today. (2008). NATA Outlines Its Environmental Issues. Retrieved from http://www.aviationtoday.com/regions/usa/NATA-Outlines-Its-Environmental-Issues_21069.html
EPA. (2011). Laws and Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/
Ernesto, Z., & Zedillo, E. (2008). Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.
Linda Luther. (2007). Environmental Impacts of Airport Operations, Maintenance, and Expansion. CRS Report for Congress, 1 (1), 1-13.