Fly the Friendly Skies?
- 350 million — number of pounds of smog-producing chemicals (nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds) released by planes landing and taking off from U.S. airports in 1993
- 200 million to 600 million — number of gallons of wastewater created each year from airplane deicing
- 219 — number of volatile organic chemicals found in the air around Chicago’s O’Hare Airport
- 5.6 — number of miles a passenger could travel in an intercity bus using the same amount of energy it would take to move her one mile in a commercial jet
- 1.5 — number of miles a passenger could travel in a commercial jet using the same amount of energy it would take to move her one mile in a single-occupancy car
- 30,000 — number of flights completed in the U.S. each day
- 149 — percentage increase in U.S. air travel (paying passenger miles) on major commercial airlines from 1979 to 1999
- 85 — percentage expected increase in U.S. air travel from 1999 to 2020
- 10 — approximate number of gallons of crude oil required to make one gallon of jet fuel
- 77 — number of gallons of jet fuel needed for a person to travel from New York to Los Angeles on a commercial jet plane
- 13 — percentage of total global, transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions released by airplanes
- $40 billion — amount of money appropriated by the U.S. Congress to construct and expand airports under the Air Expansion Act of 2000 (AIR-21)
- 71 — percentage of members of the U.S. House of Representatives who received PAC money from the airline industry in 2000
- 6 million — number of pounds of peanuts sold by Southern farmers to the airline industry each year, before nuts were banned on many flights
1 — Natural Resources Defense Council, “Flying Off Course: Environmental Impacts of America’s Airports,” Oct 1996.
2 — U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, “On-Site Recovery of Glycols from Airport Deicing Fluid Using Polymeric/Ceramic Composite Membranes,” 15 Jul 1999.
3 — City of Park Ridge, Ill., “Preliminary Study and Analysis of Toxic Air Pollutant Emissions from O’Hare International Airport and the Resulting Health Risks Created by These Toxic Emissions in Surrounding Residential Communities” (pdf), Aug 2000.
4, 5 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Center for Transportation Analysis, Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 20 (pdf), Nov 2000.
6 — Kristin L. Falzone, “Airport Noise Pollution: Is There a Solution in Sight?” (pdf), Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 1999.
7 — U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Historical Air Traffic Statistics 1979 and 1999.
8 — U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency, “2001 Annual Energy Outlook Supplementary Tables,” Dec 2000.
9 — American Petroleum Institute, “What A Barrel Of Crude Oil Makes.”
10 — New York is 2,462 miles from Los Angeles. There are 128,100 Btus of energy in one gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel, and it requires 3,999 Btus of energy to move one passenger one mile in a commercial jet. (Calculated from: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Center for Transportation Analysis, Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 20, Nov 2000.)
11 — U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Aviation and the Global Atmosphere,” Apr 1999.
12 — Sharon Skolnick, “Airports’ Poison Circles,” Earth Island Journal, Winter 2000.
13 — Center for Responsive Politics, Airlines: Top Recipients.
14 — American Cynic, 07 Sep 1998.