Last week, Boeing, in conjunction with American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration, showed off a new airplane, ecoDemonstrator, featuring a set of environmentally friendly technologies. The technologies help "make airplanes operate more efficiently and produce fewer emissions and less noise," said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer. And it was made possible, in part, by funding from the FAA's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program.
The impact of a single souped-up plane is, of course, negligible. But the effort highlights a potential alternative means of achieving what regulations set out to do: getting industry to reduce its footprint.
In this case, Boeing was able to develop a plane that reduces fuel costs and increases efficiencies. Are there other examples of airline industry PPP's that have achieved similar goals? Or is such a win-win a rarity with public-private partnerships--all smoke and no fire? Is there something to be said for leveraging PPP's to induce industry to achieve regulatory goals?