Thursday 24 April 2014

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The latest contributions on Aviation policy in Europe.

 

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.

ATAG ‘Flightpath’ showcases aviation’s environmental commitment

Posted by on 17/09/13

As aviation professionals from around the world gather in Montreal next week for the triennial ICAO General Assembly, ATAG has produced a special issue of Flightpath that crystallises several issues on the ICAO agenda. Among these highlights:

  • Aviation’s leading role in tackling climate change. This is expected to be the top item on ICAO’s agenda. The aviation sector has succeeded in decoupling aviation growth from carbon dioxide emissions, and is committed to carbon-neutral growth by 2020. To continue this progress, the aviation industry supports a market-based, internationally competitive programme to price and thus reduce emissions. Flightpath also outlines a path to definitive action at the 2016 ICAO assembly.
  • Progress on sustainable biofuels. ATAG encourages ICAO member governments to support research, incentivise the broader use of biofuels, ensure that biofuels don’t indirectly harm the environment, and foster full-spectrum industry coalitions.
  • Aerospace firms’ new environmentally progressive fleets. Boeing and Airbus are bringing new, highly efficient aircraft on line – well over 70 per cent more efficient than a half-century ago.
  • Aviation as an economic driver. Aviation will account for 82.2 million jobs worldwide by 2030, ATAG reports.
  • Airports continuing to become more environmentally sound. The issue covers airports’ joint efforts to reduce their carbon footprints.

Europe shows strong demand for aviation personnel among worldwide boom

Posted by on 17/09/13

According to Boeing’s 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, commercial aviation will require more than a million new pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians. As global aviation grows, Boeing projected that by 2032 the world will require 498,000 new commercial pilots and 556,000 new maintenance techs.

Europe will continue to experience strong demand for new personnel by 2032, outpaced only by the Asia Pacific region. Europe is forecast to need 99,700 new pilots and 108,200 new techs.

This compares with 192,300 new pilots and 215,300 techs in the Asia-Pacific region, 85,700 pilots and 97,900 techs in North America, 48,600 pilots and 47,600 technicians in Latin America, 40,000 pilots and 53,100 techs in the Middle East, 16,500 pilots and 15,900 technicians in Africa, and 15,200 pilots and 18,000 maintenance personnel in Russia and the CIS.

All regions but Europe experienced growth in personnel demand from previous forecasts, Boeing said. Demand is driven by several factors, including strong deliveries of new aircraft, aging crews and staffs nearing retirement, and strong economic growth in developing regions driving more travel.

Parliament Committee Votes to Adopt ILUC Proposal

Posted by on 18/07/13

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on 11 July to advance measures that promote advanced, environmentally sustainable biofuels and cap production of older, first-generation biofuels that have indirect land-use change (ILUC) effects because they substitute food cropland for fuel cropland.

By a 43-26-1 vote, the committee endorsed the proposal to cap at 5.5 percent first-generation biofuels’ share under the EU’s 10 percent target for renewable energy use in the transport sector­—higher than the European Commission’s proposed 5 percent cap. The proposal would also set a minimum target of 2 percent for advanced biofuels, such as those made from algae or waste products, without depriving other industries of raw materials, destabilising European waste policy, causing deforestation, negatively affecting biodiversity, or other ILUC effects.

The aviation industry is committed to developing and using these high-efficiency 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 taking care to ensure they avoid ILUC effects.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (or SAFUG, a consortium 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 having low risk of ILUC. SAFUG members made a public pledge to promote robust standards for sustainable aviation fuels. The aviation sector is actively involved in a number of advanced fuel projects that utilize non-food crops and wastes or residues, and it strongly supports these technologies as a means to produce high quality drop-in fuels that mitigate ILUC risk.

 

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