NASA Hosts Green Aviation Summit

The Green Aviation Summit is highlighting NASA's work to develop aviation technologies that are designed to make air transportation cleaner and quieter for the environment.

Bolden Highlights Importance of Issue to Future of NASA

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has a "critical responsibility" to the flying public to develop environmentally responsible solutions to the nation's most pressing aviation problems, Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. said Wednesday.

Addressing the Green Aviation Summit under way through Thursday at NASA's Ames Research Center, Bolden said air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation and vital to the U.S. economy, but increasing air traffic is taking a toll on the environment and the nation's aviation infrastructure.

"We need to make some changes -- both in the design of aircraft and in the way they transit through our skies to not only maintain, but improve safety and efficiency," Bolden said. "That's a huge challenge, but we at NASA enthusiastically accept it."

The Green Aviation Summit is highlighting the depth and breadth of NASA's work to develop aviation technologies that are designed to make air transportation cleaner and quieter for the environment, with fewer delays for travelers.

"Our critical responsibility is [to] those who feel anxious because of the long distance they have to travel to reach an airport; the crowding they experience upon arrival at the terminal; the departure, en route, or arrival weather; or concerns that the technology on the planes may not be up to dealing with problems that may be encountered in the sky," Bolden told the summit.

The two-day meeting has brought together about 200 experts from NASA, other federal government organizations, industry and academia. Keynote presentations by leading policymakers as well as detailed technical presentations and panel discussions are focusing on state-of-the-art and emerging technologies that can reduce aircraft noise, emissions and fuel consumption and ensure the safe and manageable growth of the aviation system.

Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research, said NASA technology will become increasingly important because of the lack of available space for new airports. "We really are helping the country to advance to the next generation of air transportation and aviation by working together," he said. "This summit signifies our strong commitment."

Summit participants are sharing the results of their work on airplanes that will be designed and built with unconventional configurations, super-efficient engines and lightweight, damage-tolerant materials to increase lift, reduce drag, and deflect noise; innovations that will capitalize on the potential of alternative fuels and advanced power technologies; and efforts to equip aircraft cockpits with computer software and satellite-based navigation and communication systems to assist decision-making by pilots.

Ames Research Center Director Simon "Pete" Worden opened the summit by crediting NASA research for today's understanding of climate change and the effects of global warming on the environment. "As the world travels even more," said Worden, "we're going to have a very serious global warming issue, as well as lots of other environmental impacts of aviation."

Bolden, Shin and Worden all noted that conservation - through improved performance, efficiency and safety -- is an aim that has guided NASA's research goals for decades. "Green is not just a buzzword to us," Bolden said.

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