The USA has lodged a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) concerning planned European Union restrictions on the operation of Stage 3-hushkitted aircraft. Adjudication on the row will have to wait until the ICAO General Assembly which will not take place until September 2001, although it will in the meantime attempt to act as a mediator.

Although ICAO's remit covers rules on what aircraft may fly after January 2002, when Stage 2 aircraft must be withdrawn from service, it is unable to adjudicate on the two issues key to the parties concerned - trade for the USA and the environment for Europe.

Although the EU has delayed a decision until May, it says it has done so in return for a US commitment to accelerating negotiations on ICAO Stage 4 rules. The USA, however, has only promised a decision on Stage 4 by the time of the General Assembly.

Source: Flight International