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Carbon Footprint Compensation Formula


Is there any private or commercial pilot concerned with the environment and his personal contribution to this matter?

I was asked by a Dutch meteorologist that wanted to fly with me to Jan Mayen Island, Greenland and Iceland if and how I compensate my private flight for Carbon Emissions.

Is there anyone that would know how to calculate the CO2 footprint?

I found this:

But am no math expert :-)


EDLE, Netherlands

Calculate the amount of fuel needed, then convert to kg CO2

LSZK, Switzerland

The biggest contribution to the emission of CO2 from private aviation is the burning of fuel. Avgas has a mass coefficient of 3.05 meaning that if you burn 1kg of avgas you release 3.05kg of CO2. This is clearly an average.

To play with some numbers, 100hrs/yr at 15USG/hr is about 15 tonnes CO2. US per capita annual emissions is about 20 tonnes. LHR-JFK return business class is about 3 tonnes.

There are secondary contributors to CO2 emissions due to the energy embodied in the manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft amongst other things.

Alan_South wrote:

the energy embodied in the manufacture

Given the average fleet age of 40 years, that surely doesn’t contribute significantly to the CO2 footprint…

LSZK, Switzerland

Simply stop breathing out. :)

Carbon footprint is rubbish.

KUZA, United States

NCYankee 18-Nov-15 19:16 #05
Simply stop breathing out. :)

Carbon footprint is rubbish.

Or stop talking to hippies :-)

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

Watching the movie Chasing Ice on Netflix, I am not so sure it is all rubbish. But then again, I am no expert in the field, but if I have to believe it, then the experts are not in disagreement about it anymore, right?

EDLE, Netherlands


I, for one, care about the environment and have made some sums, comparing my aircraft to a car (like a Mercedes A-class with two engines). After now driving electric and being fortunate to live in a country where my solar panels take care of the charging I feel pretty good. Add to that the solar heating of my house.

NCYankee, do you have some special insight to take such an extreme position? AFAIK, and I try to follow the debate, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether man-made CO2 emissions would be creating a problem or not. Lots of compelling data support that notion, and other data that negate it. But science also admits that our models are flawed, like the models for weather predictions! So in my simple view, we may wish to take global warming and all of its consequences (mainly for poor people) as a real possibility. Say 50-50. So what are the chances of your house catching fire? 1%? Do you have insurance?

In any event, oil is finite and there can be no debate about that. That in itself is a good reason to think about burning less.

Bring on the electric planes, charged by solar panels on the hangar roofs!

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Carbon credits aren’t rubbish, NCYankee, they are a key element in the moral justification for heavy energy taxation, which reduces European oil imports and increases European energy security, which in turn reduces the problem of Europe having no useful defense forces. That as a secondary benefit helps encourage unity between the various European ethnic groups. Both objectives reduce the burden on the US DoD. A very useful form of mass psychology, and the scientific basis is irrelevant to the objectives. Not rubbish at all

Last Edited by Silvaire at 18 Nov 21:20

I am clearly not intelligent enough to understand what you are saying, but was the point not ‘footprint’ instead of ‘credits’?
Why do I always get the feeling that people turn a blind eye when it comes to things that threathen their interests.
‘an inconvenient truth’ comes to mind.

Last Edited by aart at 18 Nov 21:30
Private field, Mallorca, Spain
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