ICAO environment committee wraps up landmark 10th meeting
The ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) concluded its landmark 10th Meeting at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal on Friday, with progress recorded in a number of critical areas.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO’s Council President, stressed that “the CAEP is an invaluable asset to ICAO’s work across the full basket of measures to reduce aviation’s impact on the Environment, inclusive of emissions and noise mitigation. The ICAO Council is grateful for its progress over the last two weeks, and will look forward to the review and adoption of the recommendations the CAEP has delivered.”
Summary of the CAEP/10 achievements:
New aircraft emissions standards
CAEP/10 was the first time that recommendations for two emissions standards were able to be finalized, paving the way for cleaner aircraft that have less impact on the global climate. An important Particulate Matter (ultrafine soot particles) Standard was one of these, while the second was the much awaited aircraft CO2 emissions design Standard, the first global Standard for CO2 emissions for any sector.
International aviation Market-based Measure (MBM)
The CAEP reviewed a vast amount of technical work related to a global market-based measure for international aviation emissions. This will provide a solid basis for the discussions and expected adoption of the aviation MBM design scheme at the 39th ICAO Assembly this fall. If adopted, the aviation MBM is expected to be slated for implementation by 2020.
Sustainable alternative fuels
An impressive amount of work on the sustainability criteria and life-cycle analysis for sustainable alternative fuels was carried out. Developments in this area will be paramount for the sustainable future of aviation and the CAEP’s life-cycle analysis conclusions will serve as an important market indicator supporting higher production and use of alternative fuels in the future.
Air cargo CO2 emissions
A methodology to quantify air cargo CO2 emissions was also approved. This complements the ICAO carbon calculator for passenger air travel emissions and is our new contribution to the UNEMG.
Adaptation to climate change
New guidance on community engagement in aid of more inclusive aviation environmental management and airport planning, including for adaptation to climate change, is expected to be of direct assistance to States.
Updated projections for aircraft noise and emissions were approved. These will be recommended as the basis for decision-making for matters related to the environment during the upcoming ICAO Assembly later this year. Future work will include putting these trends into context of a 2°C emissions budget scenario.
For the first time, ICAO and its Member States will be able to consider the possibility of “noise neutral growth” from 2030 under an advanced technology and operational improvements scenario.
This is a clear demonstration of how ICAO’s Standards for aircraft noise are working, and foreshadowed a likely decoupling of air traffic and noise growth as sectoral expansion continues.
The CAEP also began to anticipate the possible resumption of supersonic flights by discussing progress on a new supersonic noise Standard for future aircraft.
President Aliu further remarked that “ICAO will continue to pursue environmental targets as agreed by our Member States, towards greater emissions and noise reductions for the air transport sector. Environmental action is one of the three pillars of sustainability, and essential to the future prosperity of human society.”