Plane & Pilot
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

GA & The Environment

Keeping our skies clean

gaGAMA believes that the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in the United States and the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) initiative in Europe will deliver significant environmental benefits. For this reason, it’s imperative that the United States move aggressively now to begin the process of executing NextGen.

The implementation of these modernized air traffic systems incorporates dozens of technologies and capabilities that will eventually lead to reduced congestion, delays and environmental impact. Furthermore, it will lead to increased point-to-point travel between destinations, continuous ascent and descent departures and arrivals, and less noise impact on communities.

GAMA believes that a global approach is necessary to effectively address environmental issues in aviation. We look to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to provide the same role for the environment as it does for safety. GAMA is advocating that ICAO develop science-based standards and practices in order to reduce aviation’s environmental impact. ICAO’s leadership will minimize competitive distortions, simplify this process and, most importantly, lead to greater environmental gains.

Through technological innovation, GA manufacturers have significantly improved their environmental performance over the past 50 years. Our industry is looking at every aspect of the aviation experience to see where we can continue to improve our efficiency and limit emissions.

GAMA and its member companies are committed to ensuring that the debate over aviation emissions is informed by facts and sound science, not by emotion and sound bites. Environmental policies should incorporate appropriate cost-benefit calculations and recognize that all aviation, particularly GA, is an integral and essential part of the worldwide transportation system.

Climate change is the greatest environmental issue in the world today and, indeed, many consider it to be the biggest issue of any kind. The aviation industry, in particular GA manufacturers, is committed to ensuring that environmental impacts won’t become the fundamental constraint on industry growth in the 21st century.

Pete Bunce is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in fighter and training aircraft. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2005 and is now president and CEO of GAMA. To learn more about GAMA, visit


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