The National Business Aviation Association has welcomed global moves toward new standards to limit aircraft carbon emissions and continue the process of reducing noise levels.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation-led Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), following three years of deliberation, has recommended a metric and standards on carbon dioxide emissions, and for reducing noise levels emitted by aircraft between now and 2020.
"These accomplishments highlight a spirit of global co-operation among nations when it comes to aviation policy making," says NBAA president Ed Bolen of the proposals. Our association, along with the International Business Aviation Council and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, worked diligently to create standards that are technically and economically feasible, as well as environmentally beneficial, he adds.
In a veiled reference to European proposals for a compulsory unilateral carbon trading system for business aircraft, Bolen says: "Carbon emissions by aircraft are difficult to measure consistently across a wide range of business aircraft types because a single power plant can behave differently when used in different aircraft configurations."
During the past three years, a committee on aviation environmental protection working group, including representatives from the business aviation communities in the US and Europe, worked diligently to create a metric by which all aircraft carbon emissions can be measured, and a standard by which that metric can be used, he adds. "This represents a milestone."
Bolen maintains that the global ICAO system has credibility, and will enable the business aviation community "to standardise and measure emissions reductions, as part of the industry's overall goal of significantly lowering aircraft emissions by the year 2050".
The new standard calls for a seven-decibel reduction (-7epndb) in noise generated by aircraft larger than 55t built after 2017, and a similar reduction in noise generated by smaller aircraft built after 2020.
Bolen welcomes a proposed concession to help the business aviation community achieve the new targets, explaining: "The working group realised that a seven-decibel reduction would be more difficult to achieve for manufacturers of smaller aircraft, and that more time would be needed for compliance. So they have three more years for research, development and testing, to ensure they can meet the standard while maintaining the high levels of quality that are the hallmarks of the general aviation industry."
The CAEP recommendations will be reviewed by the ICAO council in the second quarter, and taken up for approval by the ICAO general assembly later this year.