Parts of North America and Western Europe could experience sonic booms every five minutes if supersonic jets become commercialized, a new study said on Wednesday.
Published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the paper also warned that the aircraft could create severe environmental and health impacts by 2035.
Supersonic jets can travel faster than the speed of sound, significantly reducing flight times, although travel at such speeds has not been available since Concorde planes were retired in 2003. A side effect of traveling this quickly is sonic booms — the noise emitted when an object traveling through the air breaks the speed of sound barrier.
According to the ICCT, some start-ups are hoping to roll out as many as 2,000 commercial aircraft that will serve 500 cities by 2035. Such a scenario, the ICCT said, would introduce 5,000 flights per day to 160 airports worldwide.
The most heavily impacted countries would include Germany, Israel, and parts of the U.S. and Canada. Those regions would be exposed to between 150 and 250 sonic booms per day, or up to one boom every five minutes over a 16-hour flight day, according to the report.