An ANT Analysis of The Misallocation of The Effects of Pollution Resulting from The Aviation Industry

Hughes, Ryan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Rogers, Hannah, Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Quinlan, Jesse, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Berne, Rosalyn, University of Virginia

The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the ways in which the pollution created as a byproduct of commercial aviation disproportionately affects actors within the network who do not reap the benefits, and how electrification of the industry can help mitigate and, in some cases, completely eliminate these problems. Air traffic patterns and aircraft emissions stand at the forefront of the negative externalities produced by the industry. Actors of low socio-economic status, often residing in nearby neighborhoods, face the greatest proportion of these externalities than any other actor within the social network, with surrounding natural environments and the Earth’s atmosphere being a close second place. The areas closest to airports are those whose property value is most affected by noise pollution, and where the sound levels produced from aviation have the greatest impact on physical human health. Human health problems are also a result of the emissions released by the aircrafts, again, with those living in close proximity to airports dealing with the majority of the problem. These harmful emissions also take their toll on the surrounding environment in a time when climate change is as pressing of an issue as ever, while protective agencies take little action to mitigate this addition to the global crisis. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) will be used to address the shortcomings of the industry in effectively allocating the negative externalities of the industry to the responsible parties, and how the social forces that make up the fibers of the aviation network barricade the actors that benefit from sharing the weight of the resulting burden.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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