AIA Endorses First Global CO2 Standard To Reduce Aircraft Emissions

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes the ambitious new CO2 emissions standard for commercial airplanes proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection February 8, 2016, in Montreal, Canada. The agreement on the ICAO “CO2 Standard” is the result of work by a task force of experts from governments and observers and will be endorsed by the ICAO Council later this year.

“This is a historic accomplishment resulting from six years of committed effort by manufacturers, operators, governments and non-governmental organizations across the globe,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. “This agreement will further solidify our strong record of fuel efficiency and focus on the environment and we urge full adoption by the U.S. government.”

“The goal of this certification standard is to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation by encouraging the integration of fuel efficient technologies into aircraft design and development, and is part of a broader set of actions aimed at tackling aviation’s climate change impact,” said AIA Director of Environmental Policy Leslie Riegle. “This includes improvements in flight operations, deployment of biofuels and the reduction of noise and other emissions, together with the development of a global market-based measure for aviation‎ to be agreed at the ICAO General Assembly in October 2016.”

The new standard will apply to all new civil aircraft designs launched after 2020, with a three-year delay for aircraft with fewer than 20 seats; and to in-production aircraft from 2023 onwards. There would be a production cut-off for noncompliant aircraft in 2028. The agreement guarantees that manufacturers will continue to design and develop aircraft that will meet this ambitious standard in the future.

“This builds on aviation’s long and consistent track record of continuous improvements in fuel efficiency,” Melcher said. “For example, today’s aircraft are more than 70 percent more efficient than the industry’s first commercial jets.”

After final agreement at the ICAO Council meeting in fall of 2016, the U.S. government will have to finalize its rulemaking on these emissions.  The agreement at ICAO should be adopted in its entirety by the United States in order to avoid introducing market distortions across the global industry.

New aircraft technologies are one important pillar of an assortment of measures that the aerospace industry and governments are using to reduce aviation CO2 emissions. This agreement will support ongoing industry commitments including a 1.5 percent annual fleet fuel efficiency improvement, carbon neutral growth from 2020 and halving CO2 emissions relative to 2005 by 2050.

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