European short-haul flights should be cut amid emission concerns: UK scientists

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LONDON, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- British experts on Monday called for European short-haul air flights to be dramatically cut after a study revealed they are the biggest polluters.

New data curated by scientists at the University of Manchester found the main culprit for aviation emissions across the connected continent of Europe are countless short journey flights.

Their research identified a large number of flights over distances of less than 500 km between city pairs with existing public transport connections are a key contributor of harmful emissions.

Lead author of the research, Professor Antonio Filippone, said: "Aviation authorities and airlines have an opportunity to review the frequency of these routes, to reduce emissions, optimize networks, reduce congestion and contribute positively to environmental sustainability."

The Manchester research team said the findings present a clear opportunity to curb unnecessary pollution on the path toward Net Zero carbon targets.

Their plea comes just weeks before the UN COP26 conference in Glasgow which is putting the climate crisis at the forefront of world leaders' agendas.

A spokesperson for the university said: "We demonstrate that the actual flight range is the biggest discriminator in aviation emissions. Therefore, we highlight the opportunity to re-evaluate the European network when a legitimate transport alternative exists."

The Manchester researchers used a rapidly expanding data broadcasting system to track worldwide air traffic. Air traffic data was then integrated with aircraft emission models to produce quantitative estimates of engine exhaust emissions of most aircraft types, including fuel burn, CO2, NOx, CO, UHC, SOx, non-volatile particulate matter.

They identified short flights between several city pairs within Britain, France, Germany and Poland that operate flights over flat terrain.

The most common routes in they analyzed included Copenhagen-Bromma (Stockholm), Gothenburg-Bromma (Sweden); Fiumicino (Rome)-Linate (Milan), Madrid-Oporto (Portugal) and a considerable number of domestic routes in Poland, for example Warsaw-Krakow. Enditem

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