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International Civil Aviation Organization Moves Closer To Aircraft CO2 Standards
By Daniel Baxter

July 14, 2012 - Global aviation moved an important step closer to establishing a worldwide CO2 Standard for aircraft yesterday, as the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) unanimously agreed on a CO2 metric system which characterizes the CO2 emissions for aircraft types with varying technologies. 

“The new CO2 metric system agreed today by States, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, addresses emissions from a wide variety of aircraft on a fair and transparent basis,” stressed ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. “It includes factors which account for fuselage geometry, maximum take-off weight and fuel burn performance at three different cruise conditions and is a major move forward.” 

The CAEP agreement on the new aircraft CO2 metric system will allow the States and observer organizations that together comprise the CAEP to move onto the next stages in the development of an ICAO CO2 aircraft Standard. This work includes the definition of certification procedures to support the agreed metric system and the Standard’s scope of applicability. 

An appropriate regulatory limit for the aircraft CO2 Standard will then be analyzed, using the ICAO criteria of technical feasibility, environmental benefit, cost effectiveness and the impacts of interdependencies. 

“This metric system is a very important milestone which comes after extensive technical discussions,” commented ICAO’s Environment Branch Chief, Jane Hupe. “That ICAO was able to achieve consensus between the States who serve on the CAEP, in addition to the major airlines, aircraft manufacturers, environmental NGOs and other stakeholders who serve as observers to this process, highlights that there is a great deal of motivation in every quarter of our sector to achieve real progress on aviation environmental performance.” 

Boeing on Thursday commended the agreement reached by the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection on the metric system which will support the carbon dioxide (CO2) standard being developed for aircraft. Teams from ICAO's member states, the aerospace industry and non-governmental organizations have worked extensively on the development of the CO2 standard since it was directed by ICAO in 2010. 



"This is a tremendous achievement by the committee that has worked so diligently the past several years to reach agreement on the CO2 standard and metric system that supports it," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy Billy Glover. "Our industry continues to advocate for global standards for aviation emissions developed through ICAO because the process works; this achievement is proof-positive." 

“The metric system defines how an aircraft's CO2 emissions can be evaluated in a method relevant to how aircraft are operated. It is based on fuel burn performance at three different cruise conditions. To address the wide variety of aircraft sizes, the metric accounts for the fuselage geometry and the maximum aircraft takeoff weight. 

“The metric system agreement, which was reached this week in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is a major milestone on the path to finalizing an ICAO CO2 standard. The aerospace industry has already committed to continued efficiency improvements through enhanced design, operational efficiencies and airspace redesign, and the introduction of sustainable alternative fuels. Not only are aircraft 70 percent more fuel efficient than 50 years ago, but the industry has also committed to carbon-neutral growth from 2020 forward. 

“ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 191 Member States.”
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