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July 18 , 2010

Air Transport and the Environment


Air Transport and the Environment provides an overview of the main issues relating to aviation environmental impacts. It explains the challenge facing policymakers in terms of sustainable development, focusing on the importance of balancing the industry's economic, social and environmental costs and benefits, both for people living now and for future generations. Individual chapters review the current scientific understanding of the main aviation environmental impacts: climate change, local air pollution and aircraft noise. Various responses to those issues are also considered, including a range of policy options based on regulatory, market-based and voluntary approaches. Key concepts such as environmental capacity, radiative forcing and carbon offsetting are explained. In addition, the book emphasises the main implications of aviation environmental issues for policymakers and for the management of the air transport industry.

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Debates about the environmental impacts of flying often generate strongly polarised reactions, yet this book adopts a constructive approach to the subject and attempts to present the environmental issues in a clear, straightforward manner. It aims to provide a policy-relevant synthesis of a wide range of perspectives rather than advocating one particular viewpoint. Yet the central purpose of this book is to bring the sustainable development challenge facing the air transport industry to the fore, and so to inform effective policy responses. Air transport plays a critical role in supporting economies and societies that are increasingly interconnected by globalisation; this book presents the view that the vital economic and social benefits of the air transport industry should not be lost - and in fact could be distributed far more widely and equitably - but that the environmental impacts of air transport nevertheless require urgent and effective management.

Air Transport and the Environment has been written primarily for professionals in the air transport industry, policymakers and regulators. It is also intended for use by academic researchers, students and others who are interested in the complex relationship between air transport and the environment.

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