Dr Enrica Papa, Reader in Transport Planning, and Dr Luis Delgado, Senior Research Fellow in Air Transport, wrote an article for The Conversation about the need to reimagine the modern airport following a short-haul flight ban in France.

Airport waiting area with plane outside window in background

In the article, Dr Papa and Dr Delgado discussed initiatives for making air transport sustainable and the move to slower, but greener travel, and wrote: “For shorter journeys with multiple travel options, some academics argue that a cultural change is necessary…Research suggests that encouraging a transformation in attitudes might be effective. An Australian study showed that scrapping air journeys in favour of high-speed rail travel between Sydney and Melbourne would reduce CO2 emissions by 18% over three decades – and that includes emissions from developing and maintaining the entire rail infrastructure.” 

Discussing solutions to air travel, they wrote: “As passengers, we know that even if we miss our connecting flight, the airline is obliged to book us a seat on the next plane. If we decide to make the connection by rail, that burden falls on us. People often buy flexi-tickets or consider long times between connections, meaning more waiting and higher costs, which overall make rail alternatives less appealing. A solution could be integrated ticketing across all modes of transport, ensuring connections are automatically rebooked, whether by land or sky.”

They added: “If the goal is to eliminate short-haul flights altogether, simply having a rail station next to the airport is not good enough. It’s time to reimagine airports as fully connected hubs seamlessly linking ground and air travel – providing integrated tickets, smooth (but longer) ground-based connections, and a coordinated air-ground transport system.”

Read the full article on The Conversation’s website.

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