Tuesday 30 September 2014

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The latest contributions on Aviation policy in Europe.

 

Aviation industry makes commitment on climate action

Posted by on 28/09/14

In support of the United Nations Climate Summit and in keeping with its longstanding goals of sustainable growth, the aviation industry joined other business and government groups in making a commitment on climate action. The commitment is between the UN agency ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the Air Transport Action Group, which represents the aviation sector.

Through this commitment, aviation is pledging to “a pathway of sustainable growth encompassing all areas of the commercial industry and governments working in partnership.” It is building on a record of action, as an industry and with ICAO — for example, the historic agreement at the 2013 ICAO Assembly on creating a global, market-based mechanism to limit carbon emissions.

The partnership will also focus on developing sustainable aviation biofuels, deploying new and energy-efficient technology, modernising air traffic control to minimize climate impacts, developing a common carbon emissions standard for new aircraft, and building aviation sustainability capacity in ICAO member states around the world.

The commitment includes Airports Council International, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, the International Air Transport Association, the International Coordinating Council for Aerospace Industries Associations, and the International Business Aviation Council — representing all the stakeholders in the aviation industry, including airports, airlines, air traffic control, and aerospace firms.

“Today’s announcement builds on the collaborative action taking place across the commercial aviation sector. It is impressive to see all parts of the industry working with each other, and with partners in research, government and other sectors to deliver the climate actions we have committed to as an industry,” says ATAG Executive Director Michael GIll. “Aviation is a force for good in the world, supporting economies, fostering tourism and allowing global cultural exchange. We believe that we can continue to deliver these benefits to the world whilst also addressing our climate impacts.”

Boeing and Embraer Partner for Sustainable Biofuels in Brazil

Posted by on 15/05/14

Boeing and Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer recently announced that they will form a join research centre to help develop Brazil’s sustainable aviation biofuel industry. The centre, to be based in Sao Jose dos Campos, will perform research, as well as funding and coordinating research with Brazilian universities. The research is expected to focus on technologies that fill gaps in Brazil’s sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain, such as feedstock production and processing technologies.

“Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation’s carbon emissions,” said Julie Felgar, managing director of Environmental Strategy and Integration for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With our joint biofuel research center, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.”

Boeing is leading the industry in developing sustainable biofuels that minimise both CO2 emissions and indirect land-use changes (ILUC). The company’s partnerships in other parts of the world — such as in the United Arab Emirates — have shown significant promise and results. When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel emits 50 to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel.

Boeing continues to partner for technological progress and advocate for policy measures that can support aviation biofuels development and commercialization, also through its leadership in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), which has called for policymakers to consider mechanisms to lower the contribution of high ILUC risk biofuels and create incentives for sustainable fuels that have been certified as low risk of ILUC. SAFUG members made a public pledge to promote robust standards for sustainable aviation fuels.

ATAG Hosts Aviation Summit

Posted by on 07/05/14

The Air Transport Action Group has just finished hosting its 2014 Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva. The conference focused on global politics, the UN’s sustainable development goals, building sustainable aviation infrastructure, and meeting capacity demands. With a nod to the centennial of airline travel marked this year, the conference also looked forward to the next century of commercial air travel.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ managing director for environmental strategy and integration, Julie Felgar, moderated a panel discussion on preparing for growth and provided the aerospace perspective. Other panelists included leading figures representing airlines, airports, and air traffic management providers.

Given aviation’s projected growth rates, the group discussed how the industry can meets its future capacity demands — in the air and on the ground — in a sustainable manner. Boeing’s corporate-wide efforts to promote sustainability continue to build its industry-leading position and provide a commercial advantage.

The conference also addressed the historic greenhouse gas emissions agreement inked at the ICAO assembly last year, government-industry partnerships, and aviation’s economic benefits.

Boeing values opportunities like these to share what the aviation industry is doing to continuously improve its environmental performance. Besides significantly reducing our own CO2 emissions, energy use, hazardous-waste generation and water consumption within our operations, Boeing is continuing its leadership role on global efforts to help the commercial aviation industry achieve the goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. To that end, Boeing is researching and developing new technologies that help define the next generation of cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient airplanes, such as the 787 Dreamliner or the 737 MAX.

 

Parliament ratifies ‘stop the clock’ deal

Posted by on 13/04/14

On 3 April, the European Parliament in plenary session adopted by a 458-120 vote a negotiated agreement with the EU Greek Presidency and the Commission on the aviation ETS. The measure now goes to the Council of Ministers for its final endorsement. The agreement came after the Environment Committee had rejected the arrangement.

The key element of the agreement is the extension of the “Stop the Clock” derogation until 2016 (i.e. a suspension of the law for intercontinental flights). The agreement follows the original Commission’s proposal to apply the ETS with an airspace approach from 2014 until a global Market Based Measure is implemented in 2020.

Peter Liese, the lead MEP supporting the negotiated agreement — and rapporteur in the Environment Committee – called the deal “the best option under the circumstances,” although he defended the ETS. “We have a very clear message for the world. Either we get a global agreement in 2016 or we will have the full scope of the EU’s ETS back in 2017.”

The agreement would stop the clock only until 2016, that is when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented. The deal also calls for member states to report how they spend revenues collected from auctions under the ETS.

Boeing continues to strongly support a global agreement at ICAO level to address aviation emissions.The European Parliament’s pragmatic decision enhances the ICAO process and creates positive momentum towards a global solution.

Second World ATM Congress Concludes in Madrid

Posted by on 07/03/14
The second annual World Air Traffic Management Conference recently wrapped up in Madrid, convening air traffic management (ATM) professionals, policy makers, and thought leaders from around the world.

During the Congress, attendees and speakers highlighted how ATM providers can meet airlines’ expectations for safe, efficient, environmentally progressive and cost-effective air navigation services. The head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration delivered a keynote address on delivering ATM modernisation. Speakers also discussed Europe’s functional airspace blocks (FABs), the growth of remotely piloted aircraft, ATM partnerships and efficient regulation. View the full agenda here.

The Congress comes as the European Parliament’s Transport Committee has adopted the Single European Sky 2+ (SES2+) package of upgrades to the project to harmonise European ATM services. SES2+ includes better oversight by state-level authorities, more efficient procurement, more inclusion of airspace users, more rigorous metrics, greater FAB flexibility, a stronger focus on centralised services for ANSPs (including SESAR, the SES’ implementation vehicle) and consolidation of overlapping regulatory jurisdictions.

The implementation of the Single European Sky remains of paramount important for the European aviation industry. It cannot delayed any longer if aviation is to remain a key enabler of competitiveness, mobility and connectivity for Europe.

Global Sustainable Aviation Summit 2014

Posted by on 20/02/14

Commercial aviation is celebrating its centenary this year and, aside from looking at the way that our industry has moved from that first airline passenger to flying over 8 million passengers a year, we are also taking the opportunity to look at the future of aviation. For our industry, a positive future is a sustainable one and the industry will be looking at the various components that future at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit, to be held in Geneva on 29 and 30 April.

In recent years, the Air Transport Action Group’s Aviation & Environment Summit became the leading global forum for the world’s aviation community to discuss sustainability issues. It is where we launched the world’s first targets for reducing emissions from a single global sector.  And it is where we, as a community, committed to sustainable growth in air transport in 2012. This year’s event will broaden the focus to discuss aviation and climate change; aviation as a catalyst for sustainable development and the future implications for aviation.

Those interested in registering for the event, or finding out more, can check out www.enviro.aero/summit

EU / ASEAN Aviation Summit

Posted by on 16/02/14

Singapore is the world aviation city this week, as the Singapore Air Show takes place at the city’s famous Changi Airport and several other events are held in conjunction, including the EU / ASEAN Aviation Summit. The event was an opportunity for government and industry to discuss how the two regions can build closer ties and work with each other to take advantage of the benefits that air traffic growth can bring. While there have been panel sessions on safety, connectivity, air traffic management and airports, the real reason for the Summit seems to be working towards a comprehensive air services agreement between the EU and ASEAN nations.

Speaking at the Summit, Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s Direct General, said: “Liberalising aviation between the EU and ASEAN is not just about normalisation – it is about upping our game in response to increasing competitive pressures from other regions. It is about boosting our own position as global aviation hubs. We need to seize this opportunity for first mover advantage before others reap the full benefit of unrestricted market access. Beyond our own positioning, experience shows that consumers are the biggest winners from aviation liberalisation, and that there are other far-reaching benefits. For us as airports, it is about unleashing our potential to act as engines of economic growth for our communities – something not to be overlooked given the urgency of sustaining Europe’s economic recovery.

The ASEAN region is really one of the aviation growth powerhouses – as EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in his opening address to the Summit, “Half of the world’s traffic growth over the next 20 years will be to, from, or within the Asia-Pacific region. By 2030, it will be world leader in air traffic, with a market share of 38%. ASEAN will be at the very centre of this exciting development. It will contribute to this growth and also be able take advantage of it. But we are not just going to look on in envy. We are also here to engage with you, to share experiences and ideas, and to learn from you.”

It was mentioned often throughout the Summit that aviation acts as a catalyst for growth in other areas of the economy and that stronger ties in the region, despite challenges of implementation, would provide great benefits to both economies.

EP committee votes to ‘restart the clock’

Posted by on 31/01/14

The Parliament’s Environment Committee on Thursday voted 46-6-1 to include intercontinental flights in the Emissions Trading Scheme for the segments of the flights within EU airspace. If adopted, the policy will replace the “stop the clock” regime, which suspended ETS for these flights pending an international agreement.

The Environment Committee’s vote would apply ETS to flights starting in April 2015, when “stop the clock” expires, and running through April 2016. The derogation is limited until then to allow progress to continue on a multilateral global emissions pact.

MEPs also pointed out that if the International Civil Aviation Organization does not adopt a full agreement in 2016, ETS will apply in full to all flights into and out of Europe. “We need to be prepared to fully implement our scheme after 2016 in case there is no global agreement. This would mean that we also cover intercontinental flights in full under our scheme. If there is a substantial agreement at the ICAO in 2016 we need to reconsider the situation,” said MEP Peter Liese, rapporteur for the proposal.

Negotiations between Parliament and member states to reach a final agreement will now start. A final vote on the plan is expected in the full Parliament in April.

The aviation industry supports a global framework under ICAO as the most appropriate means to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. Boeing believes as well that the best approach to reducing aviation emissions is a global approach and is of the view that the previous “stop the clock” proposal represented a pragmatic step in the direction to allow a more constructive dialogue in the ICAO negotiations towards a global sectoral agreement on aviation emissions.

 

Parliament committee continues debating Commission proposal on emissions

Posted by on 21/01/14

Amendments to Peter Liese’s draft report on the European Commission’s compromise proposal for including aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme have recently been made available, with the Parliament’s Environment Committee tentatively scheduled to vote at its 30 January meeting after discussing them on 23 January.

In light of decisions taken at the ICAO Assembly last fall, the Commission had proposed continuing to limit full imposition of ETS on non-EU airlines but to factor in for emissions control purposes the distance travelled within EU airspace by all airlines whether EU-based or not. This proposal contrasted with the full imposition of ETS and with the “stop the clock” proposal adopted last spring, which suspended ETS application to all flights into or out of European airspace, for EU and non-EU carriers alike.

Liese’s draft report late in 2013 generally agreed with the Commission’s proposal, although he proposed altering it by limiting its effectiveness to 2016, when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented.

MEPs offered several amendments to Liese’s report during a debate on 17 December:

  • Rejecting the Commission’s proposal outright
  • Maintaining the current “stop the clock” derogation
  • Imposing a 50-50 emissions control model, either immediately or in 2016 should ICAO propose what the Parliament considers an inadequate solution
  • Equal treatment for commercial and non-commercial operators

Numerous MEPs supported allowing ICAO to develop a broad-based global market-based mechanism for reducing emissions. “An international ICAO agreement offers the best prospects of a sustainable long-term solution,” said Georgios Koumoutsakos.

“It would be irresponsible for the EU to unilaterally renege on the commitments it made at the last ICAO assembly in October 2013. Deciding to do this would seriously jeopardise the conclusion of a global agreement and expose the European air transport sector to retaliatory measures,” Françoise Grossetête, Christine De Veyrac, and Dominique Riquet explained as justification for several amendments.

The aviation industry supports a global framework under ICAO as the most appropriate means to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. Boeing believes as well that the best approach to reducing aviation emissions is a global approach and is of the view that the previous “stop the clock” proposal represented a pragmatic step in the direction to allow a more constructive dialogue in the ICAO negotiations towards a global sectoral agreement on aviation emissions.

2013 aviation in review

Posted by on 23/12/13

As we look forward to the new year and reflect on 2013, it is worth taking stock of what has taken place in our industry. Aviation in Europe saw several important developments in 2013:

  • Tensions with non-EU countries had risen over the inclusion of aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, with foreign countries at odds over how their flagged airlines would be assessed. This spring saw those tensions ease as the EU decided to ‘stop the clock‘ on aviation in the ETS.
  • In September, the next step in that process was taken as the ICAO General Assembly reached a historic agreement to develop a market-based framework for controlling emissions on a global scale. This might be too slow for some MEPs, however. This was followed in October by the Commission’s proposal to re-adjust the ETS so that that aviation emissions would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace.
  • Meanwhile, the Parliament moved in an environmentally progressive direction by capping the use of first-generation biofuels with unintended ILUC, or indirect land-use change, effects, while member states have not reached yet a final position on the dossier. From its side, the aviation industry has been focusing on developing environmentally sustainable advanced biofuels.
  • And the Commission took the next step toward the deployment of SESAR, developing the technology and systems that will make the Single European Sky possible — saving air passengers and airlines time, money, and environmental impact.
  • Finally, the aviation industry took several major steps toward further sustainability, with IATA committing to carbon-neutral growth, ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme being named a World You Like Challenge finalist, and Boeing testing its ecoDemonstrator and committing to carbon-neutral growth by 2017.

What developments do you expect to see in 2014? What developments would you like to see? Let us know in the comments, and Happy New Year!

MEPs object to revived ETS plan

Posted by on 21/11/13

After the European Commission revived a plan to include non-EU airlines in the Emissions Trading Scheme from 2014 through 2020, Euractiv reports that MEPs are objecting to the Commission’s proposal.

During a Transport Committee meeting on 15 November, MEPs criticized the proposal for going against the historic ICAO agreement on multilateral emissions controls, risking the tenuous international cooperation on climate change.

As an industry, we have several concerns with the Commission’s proposed way forward for aviation in the ETS. There are a number of third party countries which have already voiced their displeasure with the proposal at the Warsaw Climate Talks taking place right now. The industry fears that this will take us right back to the trade war situation we found ourselves in before the Commission ‘stopped the clock’ last year, delaying any global agreement even further. Perhaps more importantly, there is a very real danger that this will damage Europe’s reputation in the multilateral process.

The emissions pact continues to dominate air transport debates in Brussels. Let us know in the comments where you stand.

Commission unveils key transport corridors

Posted by on 04/11/13

The European Commission recently unveiled its new infrastructure policy, which includes nine key transport corridors connecting key European economic centres and improve east-west connections across the bloc. The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) will connect key airports, seaports, roads and railways to increase productivity and environmental sustainability.

Aviation will play a key role in TEN-T, as 38 key European airports will be integrated into the network with fast rail links to major cities and intermodal freight connections. TEN-T will improve sustainability by ensuring that travelers and shippers can use the most efficient blend of transport modes to reach their destinations. Meanwhile, reducing congestion across the continent will optimise fuel economy.

“Transport is vital to the European economy,” said Commissioner Siim Kallas. “Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. This new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 member states to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European.”

World You Like Challenge finalists announced

Posted by on 25/10/13
ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has been selected as one of the three finalists of the EU-wide low-carbon contest World You Like Challenge — previously reported on the Aviation Blog. Over 285,000 members of the public voted to select 10 semi-finalists from an original list of 269 projects, and Airport Carbon Accreditation has been shortlisted for the final round. 

Airport Carbon Accreditation was the only aviation project entered in the contest. With 75 European airports now certified in Europe, and more in Asia and Africa, it is making a meaningful difference.The World You Like Challenge was launched last year by EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, and the final winner will be announced  on 7 November at the Sustainia awards in Copenhagen. It will be an illustrious gathering as this year’s Sustainia ceremony will include speeches by Commissioner Hedegaard, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman Rajendra Pachauri. 

Stay tuned to the Aviation Blog for the latest on the contest!

ICAO reaches historic global emissions agreement

Posted by on 10/10/13

At its just-completed triennial general assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization on October 4 reached agreement on a multilateral, global plan to reduce aviation’s impact on climate change. ICAO member states agreed to develop a market-based measure that would apply to aviation by 2020. ICAO will review governments’ plans and approve them at the next assembly in 2016.

The 36-country ICAO council will still have to flesh out the technical details of what such a programme would look like, including monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions.

“This is clearly an historic resolution, showing the leadership of both developed and developing country governments meeting at ICAO in driving to the first comprehensive agreement on climate change for any global sector,” said Paul Steele, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group. “It represents significant progress. The aviation industry has been advocating for such a scheme since we developed the first global industry targets five years ago. We now have agreement on a global scheme and a timeline and the building blocks to deliver it.”

The ICAO decision — the first time a sectoral approach to limiting emissions has been agreed — came after the European Union suspended plans to include international flights in its own Emissions Trading Scheme. Other governments, as well as the aviation industry, preferred to operate from a global standard rather than under competing regional carbon regimes, and the European Parliament agreed as long as progress was made at ICAO.

Click here to view more industry resources on market-based emissions measures.

European Parliament narrowly adopts ILUC proposal

Posted by on 01/10/13

The European Parliament narrowly voted on 11 September to cap the use of first-generation biofuels with negative indirect land use change, or ILUC effects. According to the Parliament, first-generation biofuels should account for no more than 6% of the 10% target for renewable energy use in transport by 2020 under the EU Renewable Energy Directive. This vote is expected to speed Europe’s transition to biofuels produced from sources that do not disrupt current land use patterns, such as algae and waste.

By a close 356-327-14 vote, the Parliament advanced a proposal to ensure that advanced biofuels with low ILUC effects account for at least 2.5 per cent of energy consumption in transport by 2020. The Parliament first-reading position also recognizes under the Renewable Energy Directive biofuels derived from bacteria and Carbon Capture Utilisation for transport purposes, which will benefit the aviation sector as well.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (or SAFUG, a consortium of airlines and aerospace firms of which Boeing is a part) has called for policymakers to consider mechanisms to lower the contribution of high ILUC risk biofuels and create incentives for sustainable fuels that have been certified as low risk of ILUC. SAFUG members made a public pledge to promote robust standards for sustainable aviation fuels.

The aviation industry is committed to developing high-efficiency, sustainable advanced biofuels. These fuels can reduce the sector’s carbon footprint, provide a more diverse (and thus resilient) supply of energy, and develop a new, environmentally progressive industry. And as the industry develops these fuels, it is working to ensure they avoid ILUC effects.

On 11 September, the Parliament vote fell two short of providing a mandate to the Rapporteur to negotiate with EU member states, which means that the member states must seek a common position on their own that will need to be reconciled with the Parliament vote if different.

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