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Aviation industry commits to participating in global environmental efforts

ATW Daily News by Brian Straus and Cathy Buyck - 2 Apr.09

Industry representatives at the fourth Aviation & Environment Conference in Geneva committed to playing their role in mitigating climate change and urged ICAO "to redouble its efforts" to present a unified, global emissions reduction policy at December's UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

"The delegates were clear in their message to the governments constituting ICAO that international aviation is ready and willing to be included as part of the next global climate deal and we need ICAO's leadership to drive the industry forward," Air Transport Action Group Executive Director Paul Steele said (ATWOnline, April 23, 2008). He said the industry wants governments "to take a global sectoral approach for aviation rather than the current patchwork of national and regional emissions management schemes," which he said are "generally ineffective," difficult to administer and "could lead to competitive distortion."

Delegates also pledged their support to biofuel research and production and agreed to produce a set of "sustainability criteria" for biofuel supply by year end (ATWOnline, April 1).

Also at the conference, ACI Europe, CANSO, Eurocontrol and IATA announced they will implement continuous descent approaches at up to 100 European airports by 2014. The plan is designed to save airlines 150,000 tonnes of fuel and 100 million ($132.7 million) per year while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 500,000 tonnes and cutting noise around individual airports by 1-5 dB. ACI Europe DG Olivier Jankovec said the joint effort "will address crucial short-term and long-term challenges for European aviation" and called it a "rare win-win in an increasingly challenging operating environment."

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