Israel bans four-engine aircraft due to environmental concerns

Israel bans four-engine aircraft due to environmental concerns

Air Force One, a Boeing 747, flies over Mount Rushmore in February 2001. Will Israel allow Air Force One to land at Ben Gurion Airport? Source – USAF file photo., Public Domain

Israel will ban the Boeing 747 and similar four-engine aircraft from March 31, 2023 to reduce noise and air pollution.

CEO of the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) Hagay Topolanski confirmed the measure on Sunday, stating:

“The increase in passenger and air traffic at Ben Gurion Airport is an environmental issue. I intend to lead the Airports Authority and Ben Gurion Airport not only in the field of digitization, but also to lead the environment and sustainability in the world of aviation, stopping the landing of four-engine aircraft at Ben Gurion Airport is the first and first step. a step in the broader plan that is currently being formulated.”

According to Reuters, the directive is intended primarily for cargo aircraft, as most, but not all, carriers have stopped using the 747 and other four-engine aircraft on routes to Israel.

However, as part of its planning, the IAA has also advised airlines that they will not be able to land large aircraft at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv from the 2023 summer season.

Airbus A340-642 of Virgin Atlantic Airways. Source – Shimin, CC SA 1.2.

Flag carrier El Al has already retired its fleet of 747s and is using twin-engine Boeing 777s and 787s on long haul routes. Competitors also use these Boeing aircraft or comparable Airbus aircraft with Ben Gurion, although some still use Boeing 747s for cargo.

It will be interesting to see how other carriers react to the ban in the coming months.

Will the ban have the desired effect?

The IAA claims they are implementing the ban due to environmental, noise and sustainability concerns. But four-engine aircraft aren’t always less environmentally friendly than their twin-engine counterparts.

For example, due to its large passenger capacity, the Airbus A380 consumes less fuel per passenger than many twin-engine aircraft.

Having four engines doesn’t necessarily mean the aircraft will be noisier – advanced technology means that the engines of modern aircraft, such as the Airbus A380, can run quieter than those of older twin-engine aircraft.

Boeing 747 at Cordoba airport in Argentina
Boeing 747 at Cordoba Airport in Argentina – Copyright AFP Paul Faith

The only 4-engine commercial airliner currently in production is the Boeing 747. Other four-engine aircraft to see are the Airbus A340 and the double-decker Airbus A380.

largest operators of passenger 747 These are Lufthansa, Korean Air and Air China. Over the past 50 years, 1,555 Boeing 747s have been built and 455 are in service today.

As of August 2020, there are only 12 outstanding orders for the 747-8 left and production will end when they are delivered in the next few years.

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