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Exhaust Emissions: Aviation

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department will commission research and development into minimising (a) carbon dioxide emissions and (b) general environmental impacts caused by commercial aircraft engines. (140603)

The DTI is currently funding a number of research programmes to assess the environmental effect of aviation emissions and to explore developments in technology to reduce their harmful effects. In particular, the OMEGA project being led by Manchester Metropolitan University and supported with a £5 million HEFCE grant, covers, among other things, characterising aviation emissions (Particulate Matter, NOx, CO2), airframe and engine design for low carbon emissions and alternative fuels and bio-fuels. Another recent project with Airbus and academic partners has developed trade-off modelling for aircraft design and climate impact.

The Government are also working closely with industry to ensure that the UK’s aerospace industry responds to environmental concerns. The most recent project, known as the “Environmentally Friendly Engine” is supported with funding of £95 million of which £30 million is being provided by DTI. This research will develop specific technologies to improve engine efficiency and thereby minimise CO2 emissions from future aircraft.

The DTI will continue to consider the need for additional research to address the environmental impact of aviation and to ensure the competitiveness of UK aerospace companies and their European partners.