The purpose and scope of this book is to set the record straight on commercial aviation s effect on the environment and, in doing so, clear up the host of misconceptions that paint the commercial aviation industry as environment vandals. We have not attempted to take a position on the climate change debate other that to quote from what we believe to be the leading authority the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Nonetheless, we have also highlighted criticism of the IPCC reporting to policymakers. However, we have attempted to explain the climate change phenomenon because it has become clear to us that few in the wider community understand its dynamics. The book starts with a look back at commercial aviation s impressive record and then examines the key technology and operational drivers today, before we cast our view forward to the next 50 years. We also detail aviation s critical role in the world economy and, of course, the issue of climate change itself. The commercial aviation industry has been focused on reducing fuel burn and thus emissions of aircraft since man first flew. It is a very simple economic dynamic. Not only does fuel cost money, every pound of fuel is a pound of payload that the airline cannot carry, which also costs money. To suggest, as some have, that fuel economy is not a major driver of the industry, or that airlines have only become interested in the environment since fuel prices leapt, is farcical. As we will see, airlines have relentlessly pushed manufacturers for more and more capability either in range or payload and a major factor in both is reducing fuel burn. We will show how the industry was focused on environmental issues 40 years before climate change became an issue in the wider media. Print advertising as far back as 1957 touted noise issues, while the first fuel economy advertisement that we could find dates back to November 1975 32 years ago! Fuel economy is absolutely critical in commercial aviation. When in 1958 the Douglas DC-8 showed up a 5% shortfall in specific fuel consumption in test flights, the Douglas Aircraft Company lost orders from operators such as Northwest Airlines, while Pan American World Airways sold off its fleet and ordered more 707s. The greatest name in commercial aviation at the time was in tatters and it was later forced into a merger with McDonnell Aircraft Company in 1967. Boeing s 707 soared. While focusing on the industry s many successes, we also discuss its failures such as the supersonic transport race, which was driven to a large extent by national prestige and a 1960s can do attitude. Throughout the book, we have relied mainly on university studies and government agency reports to ensure an impartial perspective. We have certainly sourced manufacturers and airline data but that has typically been to verify third party work. We do not for one minute suggest that the aviation industry is like a field of sunflowers hardly. It pollutes as does every other human activity but it is an industry leader in cutting environmental impact. Regrettably, the debate surrounding commercial aviation s impact on the environment has in some quarters become hysterical with scant regard for the facts. Where we have challenged and found serious errors in environmental reports, we have sent our findings to the authors of those reports for comment and those comments have been included. We regret in some cases that despite constant pressure, some authors of reports we have challenged have failed to respond. We have tried wherever possible to keep our explanations as easy-to-read as possible and we have used break-outs for more technical issues. But in an industry which is at the cutting edge of technology, that is a challenge in itself. We sinecerly hope you enjoy.