You may re-call my rather delayed attempts at mapping the emissions saved by flights being grounded at Birmingham Airport during the recent ‘ash cloud’. In my earlier post, I said:
As for UK figures, specifically Birmingham Airport – I’ve contacted the airport who said roughly 1600 flights were grounded over the 6 day period. I asked how this impacted aviation emissions figures but was told it’s something they’d have to look into with their environment department…….so its looking like Monday at the earliest!
The lady at Birmingham Airport did get back to me but only to say that they don’t keep such information because they’re not required to track emissions by law; although its something they will be introducing in the next 12 months. She said it would be quite difficult to work out because of variants like plane model type, length of flight, weight carried etc. So I pretty much laid the idea to rest….
Until yesterday’s session on data journalism with James Ball that is. I told James about the idea and he seemed to think it was worth pursuing. He said I would be able to work out a rough average based on the number of flights that would normally have flown out, the number of those that would have been short/long-haul and the approximate emissions of a ‘standard aircraft’.
So, I’ve gone back to Birmingham Airport and asked for exactly those figures….fingers crossed they a) get back to me and b) get back to me with some lovely numbers to crunch. I also asked about the number of flights affected by this week’s restrictions in Scotland and Ireland – so another mapping opportunity could be on the horizon there….
On a side note, I managed to find an Environmental Change Institute document which discusses the different methods used to calculate the carbon emissions of flights and compares them….so I guess this may come in handy when/if I do get some data to work with.