The Virgin Group airline chairman and British billionaire Richard Branson has proposed a plan that would cut aviation emissions and greenhouse gases at busy airports by millions of tons of CO2 world-wide. The idea, which was already endorsed by London’s Gatwick Airport, is a system of ‘starting grids’ set up to provide planes with towing from the gates by small tugs before takeoff…
Reuters reported Branson as saying that if his proposals were put into effect "up to 25 percent of the world’s aviation emissions can be cut."
Under the current system, aircraft use about two extra tons of fuel in order to keep engines running from push-back to take-off. The proposal also included making the planes more fuel-efficient by building them with lighter materials.
Paul Griffiths, the head of London’s Gatwick Airport, heartily endorsed the plan saying he would "love to have Gatwick be one of the greenest airports in the world." So, Branson has declared it to be the starting place for his plan. Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger offered Los Angeles, the world’s fifth busiest airport, as a test-site and the Australian aviation industry has tentatively backed the plan as well. (lots more details from Reuters)