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ICAO CAEP Votes to Recommend New Aircraft CO2 Standards

By Juliet Van Wagenen | February 9, 2016
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ICAO is one step closer to adopting recommendations aimed to reduce CO2 emissions
ICAO is one step closer to adopting recommendations aimed to reduce CO2 emissions. Photo: ICAO

[Avionics Today 02-09-2016] An aircraft CO2 emissions standard has come one step closer to final adoption. At the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), 170 international experts voted unanimously to recommend the environmental measure. This recommendation paves the way for its ultimate adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council.
“It is particularly encouraging that the CAEP’s recommendation today responds so directly to the aircraft technology improvements which states have forged consensus on at recent ICAO assemblies,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the ICAO council.

Under the CAEP recommendation, the new CO2 emissions standard would not only be applicable to new aircraft type designs as of 2020, but also to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from 2023. The committee also recommended a cut-off date of 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with the standard. In its current form, the standard equitably acknowledges CO2 reductions arising from a range of possible technology innovations, whether structural, aerodynamic or propulsion-based.
The proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact: for larger aircraft. Operations of aircraft weighing more than 60 tons account for more than 90 percent of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.
But the CAEP also took great care to ensure that the proposed standard covers the full range of sizes and types of aircraft used in international aviation today.
“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” Aliu said. “Our sector presently accounts for under 2 percent of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, but we also recognize that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”

Several companies have come out in support of the recommendation, including Boeing and Airbus, the two largest commercial aircraft manufacturers.

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