An opinion piece in the Washington Post lays out the simple answers: air travel consumes far too much energy, creates far too much environmental damage, per person. Good points.
The simple solution is for more of us to voluntarily travel, a lot less. The government would help, a lot, if they would impose a very steep aviation carbon tax, with all revenues going to reducing other personal taxes and/or funding far more energy-efficient transportation modes, to replace the energy-efficiency of aviation.
Check out this archived opinion piece, as well as the telling reader comments.