New technology in aerospace coatings can minimize drag in the air and eliminate debris build-up, both of which reduce airplane fuel consumption, and thereby, carbon footprint. Such savings have both an economic and environmental impact that cannot be understated: a 1% improvement in fuel efficiency in the aviation industry can lower fuel costs by $700 million a year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). On average, airlines incur about $100 a minute per flight in total operating costs, IATA says. Therefore, even saving just one minute of flight time could reduce total industry operating costs by more than $1 billion a year and significantly reduce environmental emissions.
Protective coatings play a vital role in aerospace technology: a conductive thermal control coating was applied to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Dragon capsule for its first flight to the International Space Station.