The following sections concern emerging technology. Emerging technology shows great promise in helping meet demand requirements and addressing environmental impacts, but much of the technology remains in development. The Commission continues to study how the technology could help in solving the commercial passenger service, air cargo, and general aviation capacity issues, but much of the technology needs to mature before it will have a large impact on air transportation.
Current aircraft technology, especially for long-distance flights, will remain dependent on fossil fuels and their associated environmental impacts for the foreseeable future – but the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and emerging aircraft technology shows potential in the future to dramatically reduce harmful environmental impacts, reduce costs and increase access and convenience, especially for shorter flights. SAF is currently in use in the state but in relatively small amounts
What would an “airport of the future” look like?
It is possible that small zero emissions 9-11 seat aircraft with less noise will be available for commercial use within the next decade. It may also be possible to develop an “airport of the future” incorporating green energy production that could help enable both sustainable ground and air transportation. Because of alternative fuel and advances in aircraft technology, the airport of the future would have fewer noise impacts and zero or near zero aircraft emissions. Although maintenance and operations costs are expected to be lower than for a traditional airport, the upfront costs of developing a green “airport of the future” are expected to be considerable. It should be noted that zero emissions aircraft are unlikely to help meet demand in meaningful ways for some years to come.