LAKELAND, Fla., April 15, 2010 – Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton issued a call to action to the general aviation community to take a leadership role in defining solutions to environmental issues so that responsible stewardship works in conjunction with economic considerations required for industry growth. Cessna Aircraft Company is a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
Pelton made the remarks in a speech after receiving the 2010 Lindbergh Award, given annually to individuals whose work over many years has made significant contributions toward Lindbergh’s concept of balancing technology and nature. The award was presented here Wednesday at a dinner at the Sun ‘n Fun fly-in and trade show.
“Aviation has established an outstanding track record in reducing its environmental impact as we grow to meet rising demand for transportation around the world,” Pelton said. “To further reduce aviation’s impact on climate change requires partnerships between industry and government, and a commitment to find realistic solutions . . . technically and financially viable solutions everyone can live with.”
Pelton said people in the industry must participate in debate on the issues that should include not only aircraft emissions, but operations, infrastructure and research and development. He also called on the 1.2 million Americans who earn a living from some aspect of general aviation to help tell legislators and the public about the positive steps industry has already taken.
“The market demands efficiency, and business aviation has delivered a 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the past 40 years,” Pelton said. “Keep in mind that during the same timeframe, passenger and cargo traffic increased more than six fold, making aviation an extremely greenhouse gas-efficient economic driver.”
In 2008, Pelton established the Cessna Environmental Strategy Council which focuses on aircraft emissions, industrial emissions/waste/recycling, recycling consumables, energy conservation and engaging employees. Under Pelton, Cessna also launched GreenTrak, a flight planning program for Cessna Citation business jets that allows pilots to optimize flights for time, speed and fuel efficiency which reduces emissions.