April 15, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Cessna Chairman, President, and CEO Jack Pelton
Cessna Chairman, President, and CEO Jack Pelton urged the general aviation community to be proactive in addressing environmental issues to help guide the debate and possible new regulations.
Pelton’s remarks came after accepting the 2010 Lindbergh Award at Sun ’n Fun for contributions toward Lindbergh’s concept of balancing technology and nature.
“Aviation has established an outstanding track record in reducing its environmental impact as we grow to meet rising demand for transportation around the world,” Pelton said. “To further reduce aviation’s impact on climate change requires partnerships between industry and government, and a commitment to find realistic solutions—technically and financially viable solutions everyone can live with.”
Pelton said people in the industry must participate in debate on the issues that should include not only aircraft emissions, but operations, infrastructure, and research and development. He also called on the 1.2 million Americans who earn a living from some aspect of general aviation to help tell legislators and the public about the positive steps the industry already has taken.
“The market demands efficiency, and business aviation has delivered a 40-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the past 40 years,” Pelton said. “Keep in mind that during the same timeframe, passenger and cargo traffic increased more than six fold, making aviation an extremely greenhouse gas-efficient economic driver.”
In 2008, Pelton established the Cessna Environmental Strategy Council, which focuses on aircraft emissions, industrial environmental issues, recycling consumables, energy conservation, and engaging employees. Under Pelton, Cessna also launched GreenTrak, a flight planning program for Cessna Citation business jets that allows pilots to optimize flights for time, speed, and fuel efficiency, which reduces emissions.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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