Staying grounded

Trevor A. Scott, Castlemaine

I was hopeful that we would learn something from the pandemic we have all endured; but when I read in last Saturday’s Age that the Civil Aviation Authority has approved of an expansion of Rex Aviation to start flying 737 jets around Australia in competition with Qantas and Virgin, I’m not sure that we have. 
In April when the skies were clearer because of global lockdowns, I wrote to this newspaper warning of the perils of “bailing out the airlines” and suggested that this might be a good time to “rethink the whole air travel industry”. We now know that the emissions from this industry are responsible for almost 6 per cent of global warming; and because of that pollution being emitted at high altitudes, the total impact on our atmosphere is three times greater than a source at ground level. 
Also it has been shown that paying a little extra for so-called “carbon credits” does not work, and will not solve the climate crisis. Anyway you look at it, we need to reduce the amount of flying we are doing. I suggest we end frequent flyer points systems and replace them with an AKL, an Air Kms Limit. When passengers exceed their annual AKL they should be penalised based on the extra distance they wish to fly.

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