LONDON – On Wednesday 11 January, the UK Civil Aviation Authority launched a Call for Evidence on what environmental information should be provided to people when they are looking for air travel and booking flights.
Launched today, the Call for Evidence seeks views on what environmental information should be provided to people when they are considering flights, as well as how that information can be presented in a way that is clear, comparable and enables people to make informed choices about their travel options.
It follows consumer research undertaken by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in 2021, which found that consumers want more information on the environmental impact of aviation and on the impact of their own travel choices.
Formulating the standardised approach
Some organisations currently provide environmental information, but there is not a standard approach to what information is provided, how it is calculated, and how it is displayed.
Standardising this approach will help people find reliable information, at the point of looking for and booking flights, in a format that is understandable, increasing confidence to make decisions on whether and how they travel.
Views are being sought from a wide set of stakeholders including commercial and general aviation industries, consumer groups, environmental organisations, and other organisations that hold or use information that relates to the impact of aviation on the environment.
The work is part of the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which supports the Government’s Jet Zero Strategy to deliver net zero aviation by 2050.
The Call for Evidence can be accessed here, and runs until 7 April 2023. A consultation will launch later this year with a set of proposals that this work will inform.
Previous consumer research
The market research which was undertaken by the UK civil aviation authority in 2021 investigated the feedback given by a broad sample of 2072 members of the general public.
Of the sample, feedback was assessed from a range of both frequent and infrequent flyers, with contrasting levels of interest or engagement in environmental matters.
The report identified four key findings. Firstly it was generally found that concern for the environment is the new norm. As such the majority of participants were looking for shortcuts to identify more sustainable choices in their day-to-day activities.
With that being said, it was found in the study that only a few participants actually actively considered the environmental impacts of their own footprint during air travel. Most held abroad perception of the aviation sector being ‘bad’ for the environment.
It was also notably found that unlike environmental awareness with other purchases, those purchasing leisure flights were generally more caught up with the emotion of excitement and expectation, which tended to displace any concerns about the environment.