Do Electric Airplanes Reduce Emissions?

David Pflieger explains whether or not airplanes actually reduce emissions.

Electric power is the future. It is designed to overtake traditional dirty fossil fuels in a big way over the next decade or so. From the sleek electric cars of Tesla to he solar roofs that are popping up on houses all over the sunnier parts of the world, the electric industry has never been bigger. But what about airplanes?

In the modern age, flight is simply a fact of life. Everybody needs to get around somehow and if the destination is far and time is of the essence then there really are not any better alternatives. Nothing can compete with the efficiency of an airplane. It is therefore too bad that airplanes are themselves not very efficient when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Despite all of the optimism coming out of the current electric industry, the truth is that jet-fueled airplanes are not going to be replaced any time soon. In order for a viable alternative to take over, the new source of energy would have to be comparable in efficiency to jet fuel. The reality is that nothing can compare to jet fuel except rocket fuel, which is even worse for the environment.

Current electric vehicles make use of lithium-ion batteries. This is what powers everything from the cars of Tesla to the electric subways that make their way through the English countryside. Lithium-ion power has seen several advances within the last few years and has proven to be a viable competitor to gasoline. Even so, it is not without its downsides.

In order to read the full article, written by David Pflieger, make sure to click the link.

The Mamanuca Environmental Society – Protecting Fiji’s Environment

Mamanuca Environmental Society pic
Mamanuca Environmental Society
Image: mesfiji.org

With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation sector, David (Dave) Pflieger has held leadership positions for such companies as Island Air and Virgin America. He led the latter company to become the first airline to report its greenhouse gas measures in The Climate Registry. Having also served as managing director and CEO of Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways), David Pflieger has long demonstrated a commitment to corporate responsibility, as evidenced by his participation in the Mamanuca Environment Society.

Founded in 2001, the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) aims to protect the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji. The society was born out of the concern of members of the Mamanuca Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (MFIHTA) about the need to protect and improve the islands’ marine and terrestrial environments.

The society receives financial support through MFIHTA membership contributions and outside monetary donations. With this assistance, the MES engages both local and commercial stakeholders in educational initiatives about protecting the environment. The society also carries out a number of hands-on projects to monitor and protect the islands, including reef check surveys, water quality monitoring, and liquid waste management.

To learn more about the MES, visit MESFiji.org.

Dave Pflieger: Virgin America’s Green Team

Dave Pflieger is a former Senior Vice President of Virgin America. In his four years with the airline, Mr. Pflieger managed legal and government affairs, served as advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors, and implemented green initiatives that earned Virgin America recognition as the nation’s most eco-friendly airline.

Virgin America’s Green Team includes members from every area of the company, from pilots to those working at headquarters or in airport guest service. The Green Team pursues employee-led initiatives to reduce Virgin American’s environmental impact in the air and on the ground, and to foster sustainability in all company operations.

The Green Team has implemented recycling programs on Virgin American aircraft and in airports lacking recycling facilities. Team members have worked to reduce the environmental impact of commuting by using alternative forms of transportation such as biking or walking. Virgin America pilots in Ft. Lauderdale share bicycles at the crew hotel for use during layovers.

Virgin America, which is based in California, maintains partnerships with local environmental groups such as the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF). This year, the Green Team is teaming up with CSPF to celebrate Earth Day through cleanup and restoration projects throughout the state.