The UK’s largest airports reduced their carbon dioxide output by three per cent between 2000 and 2012 as passenger numbers grew by more than five per cent.
In its latest report, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) concludes that newer fleets and more energy efficient airport operations are behind the saving.
Of the airports that reported CO2 emissions generated by aircraft taking off and landing at their site, total CO2 output was down two per cent, while passenger numbers were up two per cent.
The AOA argues that to further reduce emissions the UK government should provide incentives to develop sustainable aviation fuels and should support a global emissions trading scheme.
The report also examined the issue of noise pollution in the UK and warned that, as a result of the government withdrawing guidance, planning permission had been given for thousands of new homes in areas that will be affected by airport noise.