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Green
Air Travel

How an Industry Built on Pollution Is Getting a Tiny Bit Greener—and Faster

There’s a hi-tech effort to cut small amounts of emissions and delays from air travel. It could be better than nothing, or it might make matters worse.

An Airbus SE A380-800 Emirates plane on approach at Toronto Pearson International Airport

An Airbus SE A380-800 Emirates plane on approach at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

The amount of time between aircraft as they land at Toronto Pearson International Airport might seem prosaic to the untrained eye, but there’s a lot more going on than pilots negotiating the gentle return to earth of hundreds of tons of metal.

Every millisecond that passes is tied to a new technology touted as a partial solution to two intractable problems (albeit of wildly divergent importance).