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Wed, May 27, 2015

NEWS HEADLINES

Airbus embarks on eco-partnership programme to help airline customers achieve environmental objectives | Cathay Pacific,British Airways,KLM
Airbus embarks on eco-partnership programme to help airline customers achieve environmental objectives
Wed 27 May 2015 - Airbus has launched the Sustainable Aviation Engagement Programme in which it will provide tailored services and expertise to airline customers to help lower their environmental footprint. The programme will focus on specific objectives by airlines involving aircraft technology, aircraft operations, air traffic management (ATM) and sustainable aviation fuels. Pilot projects are currently being developed with three airlines - Cathay Pacific, British Airways and KLM - before the programme is extended to operators worldwide from 2016. With each awaiting first deliveries of Airbus' latest aircraft, the A350 XWB, the three carriers are already involved in collaborative projects with the manufacturer covering aircraft noise reduction, end-of-life recycling and sustainable biofuel development. Read more ...

Chinese and Indian airlines come into compliance with EU ETS as Swiss case moves to EU's highest court | ECJ,Air China,China Southern,China Eastern,Saudi Arabian Airlines,Saudia,Ethiopian Airlines,SWISS,Aeroflot
Chinese and Indian airlines come into compliance with EU ETS as Swiss case moves to EU's highest court
Tue 19 May 2015 - Following a long dispute with the EU over their enforced inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), airlines from China and India have finally complied with legislation covering intra-EEA flights that took place in 2012, as well as for 2013 and 2014. The airlines had previously been ordered by their governments not to comply despite a change in the scheme that removed intercontinental flights from the original scope. Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, along with India's Jet Airways, have now opened operator holding accounts and the EU registry shows reported emissions and surrendered allowances for the three years. However, Air India has still failed to comply, along with Aeroflot and Saudi Arabian Airlines, whose authorities had also instructed non-compliance. Meanwhile, SWISS has been given permission to pursue a discrimination and compensation claim in the EU's highest court over the inclusion in the EU ETS of its flights between Switzerland and EEA countries during 2012. Read more ...

Alaska Airlines inks agreement to purchase Gevo's alcohol-to-jet fuel as certification edges closer | Gevo,Alaska Airlines,ATJ
Alaska Airlines inks agreement to purchase Gevo's alcohol-to-jet fuel as certification edges closer
Wed 13 May 2015 - Alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel producer Gevo has signed a "strategic alliance" agreement with Alaska Airlines under which the airline will purchase an undisclosed quantity of the Gevo renewable fuel and include the first-ever commercial flight to use ATJ. The fuel has been undergoing rigorous engine testing, evaluation and data analysis in efforts to have it certified by fuel standards body ASTM International for use in commercial airline operations. Having gone through a six-year process, Gevo is expecting approval of its fuel during the second half of this year, after which a single demonstration flight will take place. A 50/50 blended Gevo ATJ fuel has already been flight tested at supersonic speed by a US Navy fighter aircraft last December. Alaska has targeted the use of sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more of its airports by 2020. Read more ...

ICAO completes international dialogues with States on a market measure to address aviation CO2 emissions | ICAO GLADs,ICAO MBM
ICAO completes international dialogues with States on a market measure to address aviation CO2 emissions
Fri 1 May 2015 - A series of ICAO climate change seminars organised by ICAO during April in its five world regions was completed this week in Madrid. The aim of the Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) was to inform ICAO Member States on mitigation measures being undertaken to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation but in particular to explain and discuss with States a proposed market-based measure to cap the sector's net emissions from 2020. Although no formal decision has been made, a carbon offsetting scheme is emerging as the preferred option by those States currently engaged in the development process at ICAO, and delegates to the GLADs, which also included representatives from industry and civil society, were encouraged to offer ideas and recommendations on the scheme. ICAO estimates that to achieve the carbon-neutral growth goal, the airline sector could be required to spend around $2.8 billion annually on carbon offsets by 2025, rising to $11.9 billion by 2035. Read more ...

Aviation industry and NGOs press case to ICAO States on the need for a market measure to meet emissions targets | ICAO GLADs
Aviation industry and NGOs press case to ICAO States on the need for a market measure to meet emissions targets
Fri 1 May 2015 - The series of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) held by ICAO in its five world regions during the past month had the aim of consulting with Member States over the design of a global market-based measure (GMBM) to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. However, there was a strong representation from the aviation industry and environmental groups at the events, both sides pressing the case for the introduction of a global scheme to mitigate the growing climate impact of the sector. "This is a crucially important issue for the industry and an MBM is an integral part of our overall strategy," IATA Senior Vice President Paul Steele told delegates to the Madrid GLAD. Despite a general lack of understanding over MBMs, he said, the GLADs had been a very constructive and positive process, with a lot of progress made. Read more ...

JetBlue turns in impressive fuel efficiency gains but emissions continue to grow as a result of traffic growth | JetBlue
JetBlue turns in impressive fuel efficiency gains but emissions continue to grow as a result of traffic growth
Fri 24 Apr 2015 - As a result of continued growth in traffic operations, JetBlue's greenhouse gas emissions rose by 5.5 per cent in 2014 over the previous year, although it recorded its best-ever fuel efficiency performance. Measured in terms of GHG emissions per 1,000 revenue ton miles, the airline managed a reduction from 1.65 tonnes of CO2e to 1.54 tonnes, a 6 per cent improvement. According to its annual responsibility report, 'The Blue Review', just published, emissions rose from 5.9 million tonnes in 2013 to just over 6.2 million tonnes last year. However, against an industry target to improve average annual fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent from 2009 to 2020, JetBlue is currently averaging 2.2 per cent. In addition to initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint from operations, the airline is engaged in programmes to improve onboard recycling and water conservation, and since 2008 has run an annual environment campaign called 'One Thing That's Green'. Read more ...

Air Transat, Germanwings and Cargolux look to improve their fuel efficiency programmes with Aviaso software | Aviaso,Air Transat,Germanwings,Cargolux
Air Transat, Germanwings and Cargolux look to improve their fuel efficiency programmes with Aviaso software
Fri 24 Apr 2015 - Leading Canadian leisure carrier Air Transat has become the first North American customer of Swiss fuel efficiency software provider Aviaso. The airline has had a fuel management programme in operation since 2003 and is ranked by German climate NGO atmosfair in its annual Airline Index as one of the most fuel efficient in the industry. However, Air Transat says implementing the Aviaso system will give it the means to improve operational practices and further refine its programme, with a goal to reduce fuel burn by another one per cent. In January, Aviaso signed agreements with two other airlines for its software - low-cost carrier Germanwings and cargo operator Cargolux - bringing its number of customers to over 17 airlines. Read more ...

LAX’s new ocean wave international terminal is awarded LEED Gold sustainability status | Los Angeles,Fentress Architects,US Green Building Council,LEED
LAX’s new ocean wave international terminal is awarded LEED Gold sustainability status
Thu 23 Apr 2015 - The new 1.25-million-square-foot Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has become the largest terminal in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. The design by Fentress Architects features a dramatic arching roofline inspired by ocean waves, which helps reduce solar glare and heat while providing additional lighting. The ceiling is supported by a skeletal framework of structural ribs meant to resemble the inside of a whale. The 15-gate concourse features natural daylight and low-E glass, which minimises heat gain, while different lighting controls reduce energy use. With LAX the second-busiest airport in the nation, the terminal has been designed to provide for future expansion and, says Fentress, is not only sustainable, it is America's most technologically advanced airport so far. Read more ...

FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives continue to help cut jet fuel use and reduce aircraft emissions intensity | FedEx,Charlatte,Plug Power
FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives continue to help cut jet fuel use and reduce aircraft emissions intensity
Wed 22 Apr 2015 - FedEx has revealed it saved 100 million gallons of jet fuel from its FedEx Express airline operations in 2014 against a 2005 baseline, avoiding over 976,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. It attributes the achievement to the company's Fuel Sense programme as well as aircraft fleet modernisation, with more than 330 million gallons of jet fuel saved through 46 initiatives introduced since 2007. Details of seven new Fuel Sense programmes launched in 2014 are outlined in its latest annual Global Citizenship Report (GCR). FedEx has a goal of reducing aircraft emissions intensity by 30 per cent by 2020 from the baseline and has so far achieved a 21.4 per cent cut. At its World Hub in Memphis, FedEx has just added 15 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered GSE cargo tractors, funded by a $2.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy. Read more ...

COMMENTARY

Ending international aviation’s $65 billion fuel tax exemption an essential step towards decarbonisation | Andrew Murphy,T&E
Ending international aviation’s $65 billion fuel tax exemption an essential step towards decarbonisation
Thu 16 Apr 2015 - With the Paris COP only eight months away, the expectation remains that an agreement to cover all Parties, all sectors and all emissions can be reached. The objective is to limit any global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C, with many calling for a more ambitious target. Whatever the exact target, there is broad acceptance - including by the key actors China, the EU and the US - that it can only be achieved by the widespread decarbonisation of the world economy and a serious energy transition to renewables. For aviation, decarbonisation must include phasing out the fuel tax exemption that is inflating demand but is without any rational economic basis. This exemption, as pointed out in a recent GreenAir article, is rooted in legal agreements, but that is no reason to exempt it from scrutiny, argues Andrew Murphy.  Read more ...

Why taxes are not an option in addressing international civil aviation's carbon footprint | Alejandro Piera
Why taxes are not an option in addressing international civil aviation's carbon footprint
Thu 26 Mar 2015 - While the aviation sector continues to implement new technological and operational measures to mitigate its carbon footprint, including the development of sustainable alternative fuels, these initiatives by themselves will not be sufficient to offset the growth in its emissions and resolve the sector's climate change dilemma. Given mounting international pressure, regulatory intervention will be required. Some outside the sector, and now even voices within the discussion of ICAO's Environment Advisory Group (EAG) tasked with developing a global market-based measure (MBM), argue that the easiest way to address the problem is through the imposition of carbon taxes. Dr Alejandro Piera examines the legal barriers embedded in the international civil aviation legal regime that preclude this option. Read more ...

APPOINTMENTS

Dr Fang Liu of China becomes the first-ever woman to be appointed Secretary General of ICAO | Fang Liu
Dr Fang Liu of China becomes the first-ever woman to be appointed Secretary General of ICAO
Wed 11 Mar 2015 - Dr Fang Liu of China has been elected by the ICAO Council as the new Secretary General of the UN civil aviation agency ICAO, so becoming the first-ever woman to hold the post. Her three-year term will start on August 1, succeeding Raymond Benjamin of France, who has held the position for two consecutive terms since 2009. Voted ahead of other candidates from Australia, India and the UAE, Dr Fang is only the second ICAO Secretary General from the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2007, she has served as Director of ICAO's Bureau of Administration and Services, and has chaired a number of important internal committees. Between 1987 and 2007, Dr Liu held the posts of Legal Counsel, Deputy Director, Director and Deputy Director General in the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Read more ...

BOOKS

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from International Aviation - Legal and Policy Challenges | Alejandro Piera
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from International Aviation - Legal and Policy Challenges
March 2015 - While the aviation sector has introduced a number of technological and operational measures to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, these will not offset the emissions expected from its projected growth. This book by Alejandro Piera examines the legal framework underlying the international aviation and climate change discourse. It analyses the suitability of ICAO's institutional setting to address climate change and provides a critical assessment of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. Finally, the author makes several recommendations to facilitate the adoption, implementation and, ultimately, compliance with ICAO's global market-based measure scheme to limit greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. Read more ...

Will Sustainability Fly?  Aviation Fuel Options in a Low-Carbon World
Will Sustainability Fly? Aviation Fuel Options in a Low-Carbon World
February 2015 - The aim of this book, written by former airline pilot Walter J Palmer, is to provide background in technical and policy terms, from the broadest reliable sources of information available, for the necessary discourse on society's reaction to the evolving aviation emissions profile. It considers what policy has been, why and how commercial air travel is committed to its current liquid fuel, how that fuel can be made without using fossil-source materials, and the barriers to change. It also advances some elements of policy remedies that make sense in providing an environmentally and economically sound way forward in a context that comprehends a more complete vision of sustainability than 'renewable fuels' traditionally have. The book should be of interest to academics, policy makers, air industry leaders and stakeholders, and interested members of the public. Read more ...

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

For more details on the following events, click here

New posting ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit
28-29 September 2015
Geneva, Switzerland

 Read more ...

RECENT NEWS

Appeal by India’s Jet Airways against its inclusion in the EU ETS rejected in non-compliance stand-off | Jet Airways,EU ETS compliance
Appeal by India’s Jet Airways against its inclusion in the EU ETS rejected in non-compliance stand-off
Mon 20 Apr 2015 - An appeal by India's Jet Airways against action taken against it by the UK Environment Agency (EA) for non-compliance with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has been rejected by an independent UK legal adjudicator. The case relates to the airline's intra-EEA flights that took place in 2012 for which the airline did not submit a report of its CO2 emissions nor surrender allowances to cover those emissions, as required by EU and UK law. In its submission, Jet Airways argued that the unilateral action of the EU on the imposition of its scheme did not accord with the global consensus reached by ICAO Assembly resolutions and that the Indian Government had prohibited it from complying. Jet Airways faces a fine of €15,000 ($16,000) to cover the 150 tonnes of CO2 emissions estimated by the EA. Read more ...

Sydney becomes first Australian airport to release a sustainability report | Sydney Airport
Sydney becomes first Australian airport to release a sustainability report
Fri 17 Apr 2015 - Sydney Airport has become the first Australian airport to release a sustainability report, which, it says, conforms to the Global Reporting Initiative's G4 guidelines. The airport says the report responds to stakeholder feedback and supports the environmental, community engagement and other initiatives the airport is undertaking. During 2014 it received government approval for a five-year Environment Strategy that provides the strategic direction for the environmental management of the airport and outlines more than 100 ongoing actions and initiatives to minimise environmental impact and support sustainable growth. Another achievement during the year was Level 1 certification under the industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and the airport is now developing a revised energy savings and carbon reduction plan. Read more ...

Aviation emissions covered by the EU ETS edge higher in 2014 to over 54 MtCO2 as emissions from other sectors fall | Carbon Market Data,Sandbag
Aviation emissions covered by the EU ETS edge higher in 2014 to over 54 MtCO2 as emissions from other sectors fall
Fri 17 Apr 2015 - Preliminary data released by the European Commission shows aviation emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are likely to have increased by 2.6 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013. Analysis by Carbon Market Data (CMD) of the verified emissions reports submitted by the March 31 deadline indicates aircraft operators conducting intra-EEA flights emitted 54.36 million tonnes of CO2 in 2014, compared to nearly 53 MtCO2 in 2013. Once all the emissions are finally reported and entered in the registry, emissions in 2014 are likely to reach around 54.7 MtCO2, estimates CMD. However, this is far lower than the 84 MtCO2 reported in 2012. Since then, the number of aircraft operators covered by the scheme has almost halved as a result of changes to the scope of the scheme a year ago. In the EU ETS as a whole, emissions fell by around 4.6% in 2014 to an estimated 1,809 MtCO2, said CMD.  Read more ...

Brazilian rainforest to benefit from JetBlue decision to offset the GHG emissions from all flights during April | JetBlue,Carbonfund.org
Brazilian rainforest to benefit from JetBlue decision to offset the GHG emissions from all flights during April
Thu 16 Apr 2015 - US carrier JetBlue is offsetting CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) for all its scheduled flights during the month of April. Calculated on the basis that it will burn around 57.1 million gallons of jet fuel, this amounts to around 500,000 tonnes of CO2e. The airline and its long-term carbon offset partner Carbonfund.org Foundation will purchase the equivalent offsets that will be used to protect a 400,000-acre rainforest in Brazil. JetBlue is hoping the effort will encourage its customers to purchase carbon offsets in the future and in a further initiative, the city within its network whose members donate the most TrueBlue frequent flyer points to Carbonfund.org during the month of May will receive a new greenspace, such as a park or garden.  Read more ...

Red Rock’s first commercial scale renewable jet fuel refinery edges closer as it secures venture capital funding | Red Rock Biofuels,Flagship Ventures
Red Rock’s first commercial scale renewable jet fuel refinery edges closer as it secures venture capital funding
Thu 16 Apr 2015 - Construction could start as early as this summer of Red Rock Biofuel's first commercial scale refinery in Lakeview, Oregon to produce renewable jet fuels from woody biomass sourced from forests and sawmills. This follows the announcement of a partnership with venture capital firm Flagship Ventures that includes an undisclosed investment in Red Rock. The cost of the refinery is put at $200 million, $70 million of which will come from an award last year by the US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy, and production of jet fuel, diesel and naphtha is expected to start around 18 months after construction begins. Last September, Southwest Airlines announced an offtake agreement with Red Rock to purchase three million gallons of the renewable jet fuel for use at the low-cost carrier's San Francisco Bay Area operations. Read more ...

Heathrow proposes to reduce domestic passenger charges by increasing environmental landing fees | Heathrow Airport
Heathrow proposes to reduce domestic passenger charges by increasing environmental landing fees
Wed 8 Apr 2015 - With domestic connectivity having fallen as airlines increasingly use valuable slots for international flights, London's Heathrow Airport is seeking to turn the tide by reducing its domestic passenger charges by a third, with the discount to be paid for by raising environmental landing charges. The hub airport is proposing to cut its passenger charge to airlines flying from Heathrow to domestic airports from £29.59 ($44) to £19.59 from the start of next year. With passenger charges capped by the government regulator, the reduction would be covered by increasing noise and emissions charges from 21 per cent to 28 per cent of the total paid by airlines to the airport. This will further encourage airlines to switch to cleaner and quieter airplanes, says the airport. Meanwhile, Heathrow has published its sixth Fly Quiet league table of airline noise performance that rates the top 50 carriers operating at the airport. Read more ...

Momentum builds for airport sector’s global carbon reduction programme as major airports join up | Airport Carbon Accreditation
Momentum builds for airport sector’s global carbon reduction programme as major airports join up
Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Since it went global last November, a total of 122 airports across the world have now been certified under the industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, with 20 airports having reached carbon neutral status. The programme was launched by ACI Europe, the trade body for European airports, in 2009 as part of a commitment to reduce the sector's carbon emissions, and has now become adopted by all ACI regions. This month, Dubai Airports entered both its airports, Dubai International and Al Maktoum International, into the programme and join fellow UAE airport Abu Dhabi International, which is among the 24 certified airports in the Asia-Pacific region. ACA is independently administered and has the backing of ICAO, the European Union and the United Nations Environment Panel (UNEP). Read more ...

Hainan Airlines partners with Sinopec and Boeing on first biofuel-powered Chinese domestic commercial flight | Hainan Airlines,Sinopec
Hainan Airlines partners with Sinopec and Boeing on first biofuel-powered Chinese domestic commercial flight
Mon 23 Mar 2015 - Hainan Airlines has become the first China-based carrier to carry out a commercial flight using sustainable aviation biofuel. Both engines of the scheduled flight on Saturday (Mar 21) between Shanghai and Beijing of a CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737-800 aircraft carried a fuel blend made up of around 50 per cent of biofuel sourced from waste cooking oil that came from Chinese restaurants and mixed with conventional jet fuel. The biofuel was supplied by China's biggest oil refiner Sinopec, which last year was awarded a licence by the CAAC permitting the use of its jet biofuels in commercial flight operations. The Hainan flight was to have coincided with another flight on the same day of an Airbus A330-300 by Cathay Pacific subsidiary Dragonair between Shanghai and Hong Kong using the same batch of fuel but this did not take place due to certification issues with the fuel. Read more ...

Boeing starts ecoDemonstrator 757 flight testing of fuel-reducing technologies to improve aerodynamic efficiency | TUI,NASA,ecoDemonstrator
Boeing starts ecoDemonstrator 757 flight testing of fuel-reducing technologies to improve aerodynamic efficiency
Fri 20 Mar 2015 - Boeing's ecoDemonstrator programme has moved into a new phase with flight testing of a 757 aircraft nearing the end of its operational life that focuses on improvements to aerodynamic efficiency. Over the next few months, Boeing will be collaborating with NASA and airline group TUI to evaluate new technologies that improve fuel and environmental performance. On the left wing of the 757, which has been supplied by TUI to Boeing for the programme, a Krueger shield has been installed that can protect the leading edge from insects and so reduce the adverse effect of the residues on natural laminar flow. Under a contract with NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project, bug-phobic coatings have been added to the leading edge of the right wing to enable more drag-reducing laminar flow over the remainder of the wing. Read more ...

Cathay steps up sustainable biofuel development ambitions | Cathay Pacific,Dragonair,Fulcrum BioEnergy
Cathay steps up sustainable biofuel development ambitions
Mon 16 Mar 2015 - Hong Kong-based airline Dragonair, which is part of the Cathay Pacific Group, will later this week become the first to operate a commercial international flight from Mainland China using a biofuel blend. A Rolls-Royce powered Airbus A330-300 flight on Saturday from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport to Hong Kong will use a 50/50 blend of fossil-based jet fuel and a certified bio-based jet fuel refined from used cooking oil as feedstock. As well as reducing emissions by around 25 tonnes, Dragonair says the purpose of the flight is to demonstrate the Group's commitment to using sustainable aviation biofuels as a part of achieving its corporate target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. Cathay Pacific recently took a stake in US biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy, a decision which, said Biofuel Manager Jeff Ovens, was based as much on being a viable business case as on environmental grounds. (Article updated 27 March as biofuel flight was postponedRead more ...

NASA purchases Gevo’s renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel as part of performance testing programme | NASA,Gevo
NASA purchases Gevo’s renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel as part of performance testing programme
Thu 12 Mar 2015 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has purchased Gevo's renewable alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel for aviation use at its NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. NASA has been testing alternative aviation fuels at its Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to measure the atmospheric effects of their emissions at altitude and last year signed agreements with NRC of Canada and DLR of Germany as part of its Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS) programme. In January, Gevo announced the first supersonic test flight by the US Navy using a 50/50 blend of its fuel, which is currently undergoing scrutiny by fuel and aviation experts in efforts to have it certified for commercial aviation use. Read more ...

New Airservices air traffic flow system reduces delays, fuel and emissions at four Australian airports | Airservices Australia,Metron
New Airservices air traffic flow system reduces delays, fuel and emissions at four Australian airports
Thu 12 Mar 2015 – A system introduced by Airservices Australia to reduce airborne delays for aircraft arriving at Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane airports is delivering annual fuel savings worth A$18.2 million ($14m) and reductions of 54,100 tonnes in aviation CO2 emissions. The system, known as Metron Harmony, has resulted in an annual saving of 8,700 hours in airborne delay time, or an average of 1.1 minute per flight arriving at the four gateway airports, according to a commissioned study by PwC Australia. With a 60 per cent increase in Australia's air traffic expected by 2020, the report projects these savings to increase to 14,300 hours, or 1.3 minutes per flight, A$37.3 million ($29m) in annual fuel savings and CO2 reductions of 102,300 tonnes by 2022. Read more ...

Founder criticises aviation industry for lack of interest as Solar Impulse takes off on round-the-world journey | Solar Impulse,Masdar
Founder criticises aviation industry for lack of interest as Solar Impulse takes off on round-the-world journey
Tue 10 Mar 2015 - The solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft took off yesterday from Abu Dhabi on the first stage of its maiden round-the-world flight. Weighing the equivalent of a small car but with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, the aircraft flew to Muscat in Oman before crossing the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad in India today on a five-month journey. During its 12 scheduled stops, the Solar Impulse team and its partners will organise events for governments, schools and universities to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies. Harnessing the sun's energy to power anything heavier than a light aircraft is unlikely for the foreseeable future and so the Solar Impulse experiment has no immediate benefits for commercial aviation, although attempts are being made by scientists to extract liquid fuels suitable for aviation use from technologies powered by the sun. Read more ...

Germany fines aircraft operators $5.9 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list | DEHSt
Germany fines aircraft operators $5.9 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list
Thu 5 Mar 2015 – Germany has become the first EU country to publish a list of aircraft operators that have not complied with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 2012, the first year of the aviation sector's inclusion. According to the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), fines totalling €5,363,400 ($5.9m) have been levied on the 44 operators named. Most are small aircraft operators but two major German airlines, Air Berlin and Condor, have surprisingly found their way onto the list. The two carriers say this was due to small discrepancies in reporting and have received only small fines. Notable by their absence are Air China and Aeroflot, which both operated flights within the European Economic Area (EEA) during 2012 and so are still subject to the reduced scope of the EU ETS but whose governments have not permitted them to comply. (Updated 11 MarRead more ...

UNFCCC agreement paves the way for some aviation emission reduction projects to be eligible under CDM | UNFCCC,CDM
UNFCCC agreement paves the way for some aviation emission reduction projects to be eligible under CDM
Thu 26 Feb 2015 - Projects that lead to reductions in aviation-related emissions could soon by eligible under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM allows emission reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits - each equivalent to one tonne of CO2 - that can be traded and used by industrialised countries to meet a part of their targets under the Kyoto Protocol. At a meeting last week, the Executive Board that supervises the CDM agreed to develop three methodologies initially that would include projects such as solar power for at-gate aircraft, green taxiing and aircraft engine washing. Under the Protocol, projects to reduce emissions from domestic flights and at airports in developing countries are already eligible to be included in the CDM but emissions resulting from international flights, even if they take off, fly over or land in developing countries, have not so far been eligible. ICAO welcomed the move towards adopting the new methodologies. Read more ...

Ecofys report recommends the industry develops a common sustainability standard for aviation biofuels | Ecofys
Ecofys report recommends the industry develops a common sustainability standard for aviation biofuels
Wed 25 Feb 2015 - The variety of international voluntary certification schemes and the different legislations, notably in the EU and US, in place regarding biofuel sustainability provides the aviation industry with challenging complications for the global adoption of aviation biofuels. Given the importance of a common standard for measuring sustainability, IATA commissioned sustainable energy consultancy Ecofys to generate proposals that the industry could adopt as a first step towards achieving greater harmonisation of differing standards for biofuels applied in jurisdictions across the world. In its report just published, Ecofys recommends encouraging the EU and US authorities to adopt mutual recognition of their RED and RFS2 standards for aviation and the industry should develop a common sustainability standard, or meta-standard. Read more ...

TaxiBot now operational at Frankfurt as Lufthansa and IAI agree to pursue widebody version of green taxiing solution | TaxiBot
TaxiBot now operational at Frankfurt as Lufthansa and IAI agree to pursue widebody version of green taxiing solution
Tue 24 Feb 2015 - The TaxiBot hybrid-electric towing tractor developed by Lufthansa LEOS and IAI that transports aircraft towards the runway without the necessity of using the aircraft's engines is now in regular operational use at Frankfurt Airport. This follows certification by the European safety agency EASA for use with Boeing 737 aircraft, which is expected to be extended to include the Airbus A320 narrowbody family by mid-year. Trials so far show average savings of between 50 and 100 kilogrammes of fuel per 737 taxi-out, says Lufthansa. Confident of success for the pilot-controlled vehicle, the two partners have now signed a MoU to start certification testing for a widebody version, which is expected to have even greater fuel-saving and environmental benefits.  Read more ...

ASTM raises FAME limits following cross-contamination concerns over biodiesel traces in jet fuel | ASTM,Chris Lewis,FAME,green diesel
ASTM raises FAME limits following cross-contamination concerns over biodiesel traces in jet fuel
Fri 20 Feb 2015 - The increased global use of biodiesel in ground transport has proved a headache for jet fuel suppliers and aero engine manufacturers as the two fuels are often transported in the same multi-product pipeline and distribution systems, so leading to cross-contamination. Biodiesel is made up of a bio-component called FAME, traces of which can adhere to pipe and tank walls as the biodiesel passes through and then released to the following product, which may be jet fuel. At high enough concentrations, FAME can impact the thermal stability and freezing point of jet fuel, which could result in engine operability problems and possible engine flame-out. Up till now, the maximum FAME contamination of jet fuel was set at 5 parts per million (ppm) but after testing by fuel and engine experts, ASTM has raised the limit to 50 ppm. Biodiesel is not to be confused with green diesel, which is currently undergoing an ASTM process to allow its use as an approved jet fuel.  Read more ...

Carbon emissions from global airfreight to rise faster than other transport modes, predicts ITF | International Transport Forum,ITF,OECD
Carbon emissions from global airfreight to rise faster than other transport modes, predicts ITF
Wed 18 Feb 2015 - The intergovernmental organisation International Transport Forum (ITF) has projected that as international freight transport quadruples in volume by 2050, carbon emissions from airfreight will grow faster than those from road, rail or sea. The ITF estimates CO2 emissions from airfreight will rise from 150 million tonnes in 2010 to 767 million tonnes in 2050, an increase of 411 per cent on a business as usual basis. Shifting trade patterns, with the North Pacific corridor surpassing the North Atlantic as the main trading route, will result in transport distances increasing by 12 per cent across all modes. Overall, CO2 emissions from freight transport will grow by 290 per cent by 2050 and freight will replace passenger traffic as the main source of CO2 emissions from surface transport.  Read more ...

UN climate talks end with negotiating text that calls for international aviation carbon reduction targets and a levy | UNFCCC,Green Climate Fund
UN climate talks end with negotiating text that calls for international aviation carbon reduction targets and a levy
Mon 16 Feb 2015 - Negotiators meeting in Geneva last week to agree on the text to take to the all-important international climate summit in Paris later this year have included calls for global emission reduction targets for international aviation and a levy scheme applied to the sector to support climate change adaptation finance. UNFCCC negotiating texts have proved notoriously fickle in the past and the references to international aviation - and its sister sector, shipping - could still be changed or dropped altogether. Whereas ICAO is currently developing a global market-based scheme for aviation to achieve a goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, the UN agency has consistently opposed a climate levy be applied as well to the sector. Meanwhile, ICAO is to outline progress so far on the scheme in a series of conferences, called GLADs, to be held in regions across the world during April. Read more ...

Europe’s regional airlines set out a strategy to strengthen air transport’s ties with European institutions | ERA,DeHavilland
Europe’s regional airlines set out a strategy to strengthen air transport’s ties with European institutions
Fri 13 Feb 2015 - As a new leadership takes the helm at the European Commission for the next five years and sets out its work programme, Europe's regional airlines are looking for a fresh impetus from policymakers, politicians and regulatory institutions on aviation issues. However, the sector's trade association, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), is concerned that aviation may not be seen as a high enough priority. In a briefing to journalists last week, the ERA management set out its vision for the development of regional aviation in Europe in which it is seeking progress in key policy areas, including environment. ERA Director General Simon McNamara said the inclusion of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) had been a disaster and had led to a regrettable confrontation between industry and EU institutions. Read more ...

Winnipeg International becomes the first airport terminal in Canada to receive LEED sustainability certification | Winnipeg International Airport,LEED,Stantec Architecture
Winnipeg International becomes the first airport terminal in Canada to receive LEED sustainability certification
Thu 12 Feb 2015 - Winnipeg's Richardson International Airport has become the first airport terminal in Canada to become LEED certified. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification system is used in 150 countries and is a mark of excellence for green buildings. It provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies that ensure high performance in areas such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The terminal, designed by architects Stantec, achieved a silver rating, which the airport says was beyond the category initially targeted.  Read more ...

Atlanta proposes 30-acre facility to meet ambitious airport recycling target at Hartsfield-Jackson International | Atlanta,Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta,ATL Energy Park
Atlanta proposes 30-acre facility to meet ambitious airport recycling target at Hartsfield-Jackson International
Thu 12 Feb 2015 - The City of Atlanta is proposing the building of a large recycling facility to handle the estimated annual 25,000 tons of waste generated at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which handles over 96 million passengers annually and is the world’s busiest airport. A study carried out in 2013 for the city found that in 2012 only 5 per cent of the waste stream from the airport's passenger terminals and seven concourses was recycled and the city is looking for at least 90 per cent of waste to be recycled or composted, rather than sent to landfill, by January 2020. A 30-acre (12ha) site owned by the city has been identified south of the airport and a tender has been issued for leasing the land and the building and operation of the facility, to be known as the Green Acres ATL Energy Park. Read more ...

US environmental groups and aviation sector lobby EPA and FAA over aircraft emissions endangerment | Environmental Protection Agency,EPA
US environmental groups and aviation sector lobby EPA and FAA over aircraft emissions endangerment
Wed 11 Feb 2015 - With the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to issue in May a proposed determination of whether carbon pollution from aircraft endangers public health or welfare, representatives from the US aviation sector and environmental groups have spelt out their different positions in open letters to the agency and the FAA. The EPA's decision to address aviation emissions came last September after environmental organisations waged a four-year legal battle to force the agency to act. Six groups are now urging the Administration to move quickly to set emission standards and call on agency officials to simultaneously start analysing how to make airplanes less polluting, otherwise regulations could be delayed for years, they claim. US industry associations say in their joint letter that aviation requires a global rather than national approach to the standards issue. Read more ...

Airlines must use their market power to ensure biofuels meet the highest sustainability standards, says NRDC | NRDC
Airlines must use their market power to ensure biofuels meet the highest sustainability standards, says NRDC
Tue 10 Feb 2015 - An evaluation by US NGO Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) of sustainability standards followed by airlines using or intending to use biofuels finds the industry has made great strides in adopting such fuels with some airlines doing better than others on sustainability issues. This is the second annual report by NRDC on aviation biofuels but the first to name and score airlines on an individual basis according to a set of sustainability criteria. Airlines were scored on their participation in industry initiatives to promote sustainability certification, public commitments in sourcing, and the monitoring and disclosure of important sustainability metrics. Airlines with the highest scores include Air France-KLM, British Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific and Alaska. Airlines that might have expected to have performed well such as Lufthansa and American did not respond to the survey. Read more ...

Either confront the environmental challenge or risk losing any new runway capacity, UK regulator warns sector | Airports Commission
Either confront the environmental challenge or risk losing any new runway capacity, UK regulator warns sector
Tue 10 Feb 2015 - The UK's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has said if the industry and decision-makers are not more ambitious in tackling the sector's environmental challenges, they will face the prospect that essential additional runway capacity may never be built. The threat comes as Heathrow promises a more generous noise insulation package that would be eligible for around 160,000 homes in the airport's vicinity if it was given the go-ahead to build a third runway. Heathrow said the offer goes above and beyond UK requirements and is comparable to those offered by other European hub airports. A CAA report says Heathrow currently spends far less than its continental rivals on noise mitigation and compensation on a per passenger handled basis. Tasked with delivering a decision on new runway capacity in the south-east of England, the Airports Commission closed its final public consultation last week. Read more ...

Climate policy directed at aviation CO2 is woefully inadequate and requires demand management, finds study | Alice Bows,Alice Bows-Larkin,Tyndall
Climate policy directed at aviation CO2 is woefully inadequate and requires demand management, finds study
Thu 29 Jan 2015 - Whereas there is a portfolio of opportunities for decarbonisation in the short and medium term for shipping, this is not the case for aviation and so demand management will be required to address the sector's rising emissions. These are the conclusions of a study published in the journal Climate Policy by Alice Bows-Larkin of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. The paper explores the similarities and differences between the shipping and aviation sectors in the context of avoiding a 2 degrees C temperature rise and finds that a reliance on global market-based measures to deliver the required CO2 cuts will likely leave both at odds with the overarching climate goal.  Read more ...
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From shoes for disadvantaged African children to designer bags, Southwest's old leather seat covers find a use | Southwest Airlines
From shoes for disadvantaged African children to designer bags, Southwest's old leather seat covers find a use
Tue 27 Jan 2015 - Under the Evolve programme, Southwest Airlines carried out a major redesign of its Boeing 737-700 fleet, plus a portion of its 737-300s, which included replacing the leather covers on 80,000 seats with environmentally friendly materials. This resulted in the weight of each aircraft being reduced by around 600 pounds (270kgs) but left the airline with 43 acres (17.4ha) of leather to dispose. Rather than sending to landfill, Southwest launched an initiative last year called LUV Seat in which the leather has been 'upcycled' and donated to projects in Kenya, Malawi and the United States. The leather has now been used for social projects to manufacture a variety of goods such as shoes and footballs in Africa, and a company in Portland, Oregon, has released a line of designer travel bags that has proved so popular there is a waiting list of would-be buyers. Read more ...

United and JetBlue see value in a customer demand for environmentally sustainable holiday destinations | United Airlines,JetBlue,Sustainable Travel International,The Ocean Foundation,A.T. Kearney
United and JetBlue see value in a customer demand for environmentally sustainable holiday destinations
Fri 23 Jan 2015 - United Airlines has launched a new travel programme for customers looking to incorporate sustainability and environmental responsibility into their holiday requirements. The airline is partnering with The Mark Travel Corporation, its exclusive tour operator for United Vacations, and global non-profit Sustainable Travel International (STI) on the programme. United Eco-Skies Vacations will be piloted in Costa Rica, a country known for its eco-diversity and environmental stewardship, and if successful will be expanded to other eco-friendly destinations. Meanwhile, another US carrier, JetBlue, has carried out a study into the relationship between a tourist destination's ecosystems and the value that has to the airline in a purely business sense. Leisure travel to the Caribbean's pristine beaches and clear seas is key to JetBlue's business model but that could be impacted by large-scale environmental degradation, says the airline. Read more ...

Annual savings of around one million tonnes of aviation CO2 steer NATS towards its 2020 emissions target | NATS
Annual savings of around one million tonnes of aviation CO2 steer NATS towards its 2020 emissions target
Wed 21 Jan 2015 - UK air traffic services company NATS has reported aviation-related CO2 reductions now amount to around one million tonnes each year as a result of improvements and efficiency gains introduced since 2006. Based on current prices, NATS claims to have saved airlines over £115 million ($174m) in fuel costs and achieved an average 4.3 per cent cut in CO2 per flight, which means it has exceeded its own interim target of a 4 per cent reduction by the end of 2014. The company says this has been accomplished as a result of changes to UK airspace that allow for more direct routes and improved vertical profiles, the use of more efficient procedures such as continuous climbs and descents by aircraft, and the introduction of new air traffic control technologies. However, reaching its longer term goal of a 10 per cent cut per flight by 2020 will be a tough challenge, admits NATS. Read more ...

Contract awarded for UAE pilot project that will use desert plants and seawater to produce jet biofuel | Masdar,Etihad Airways
Contract awarded for UAE pilot project that will use desert plants and seawater to produce jet biofuel
Wed 21 Jan 2015 - A consortium of aviation, biofuel and research interests have awarded a contract to construct the world's first bioenergy pilot project that will use desert land and seawater to produce sustainable aviation fuel in the United Arab Emirates. The project, which is expected to be operational by late summer, is based on research carried out at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology into using coastal seawater to raise fish and shrimp for food, whose nutrient-rich wastewater then fertilises oil-rich halophyte plants that can be harvested for aviation biofuel production. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) was founded by Masdar, Etihad Airways, Boeing and Honeywell UOP, and later joined by aerospace companies Safran and GE (Updated 22 Jan). Read more ...

LATAM partners with SCX to launch a corporate air travel carbon offsetting programme in Latin America | LATAM,Neutravel,SCX
LATAM partners with SCX to launch a corporate air travel carbon offsetting programme in Latin America
Fri 16 Jan 2015 - Latin American airline group LATAM has joined forces with SCX, the first private climate stock exchange in the Southern Hemisphere, to launch a programme dedicated to offsetting carbon emissions from corporate air travel. Commitments to reduce emissions from the 10 companies that have initially joined the programme, called Neutravel, account for over 17,000 tons of CO2 and in its first year, it is aiming to reach 50,000 tons - equivalent to the carbon captured in one year by planting more than 6 million native trees. Partner companies will neutralise emissions through investments in certified emission compensation projects in the region, together with accredited in-house reductions. Read more ...

Boeing and Embraer open joint research centre to aid sustainable aviation fuels development in Brazil | Embraer,Brazil
Boeing and Embraer open joint research centre to aid sustainable aviation fuels development in Brazil
Thu 15 Jan 2015 - Following a collaboration agreement signed last year to jointly conduct and co-fund research into establishing an aviation biofuels industry in Brazil, Boeing and Embraer have opened a research centre in Sao Jose dos Campos. At the centre, the companies will coordinate and co-fund research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. This will focus on technologies that address gaps in creating a viable industry, such as feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies and processing technologies. Boeing's efforts in the project is led by Boeing Research & Technology-Brazil, one of six international advanced research centres. Embraer has been involved in several aviation biofuel initiatives, including test flights of an E-170 conducted with engine manufacturer GE under a broad range of conditions. Read more ...

Heathrow sets out blueprint for tackling aircraft noise as Qatar’s all-new Airbus A350 XWB makes its London debut | Heathrow Airport,Qatar Airways,Airbus A350
Heathrow sets out blueprint for tackling aircraft noise as Qatar’s all-new Airbus A350 XWB makes its London debut
Thu 15 Jan 2015 - London's Heathrow Airport used an operational proving visit of Qatar Airways' first new Airbus A350 aircraft earlier this week to outline its 10-point plan to reduce aircraft noise impacts by this summer. The steps include the phasing out of the oldest and noisiest Chapter 3 aircraft serving the airport. Accounting for around one per cent of all aircraft using Heathrow, the airlines that operate them already pay ten times more than for the quietest aircraft and the airport operator is considering further increases in Chapter 3 landing charges. Other actions include campaigns to encourage better use of aircraft technology and operational procedures, bigger fines for noisy departures and reductions in late departures. During the A350 visit, a field trial was conducted of the new aircraft's noise levels on two approaches to the airport. Read more ...

Finnair and SAA first to reach the top level in IATA's airline environmental assessment programme | IEnvA,Finnair,South African Airways
Finnair and SAA first to reach the top level in IATA's airline environmental assessment programme
Tue 13 Jan 2015 - Finnair and South African Airways have become the first airlines to complete the highest level of IATA's environmental performance assessment programme. Stage 2 marks the implementation by the two airlines of all of the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) Standards, and each has identified and mitigated its significant environmental impacts alongside setting performance targets. This stage also certifies that an airline has developed processes for monitoring and reviewing performance against its environmental targets and objectives. IATA also reports Icelandair, Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines have now completed Stage 1 of the programme, which ensures an airline has established a foundation and framework for its environmental management system (EMS), and certifies an airline has identified and complied with its environmental legal requirements. Read more ...

Cross-border trial to reduce holding times over London for Heathrow-bound aircraft reaps fuel and CO2 benefits | NATS,UK-Ireland FAB,FABEC
Cross-border trial to reduce holding times over London for Heathrow-bound aircraft reaps fuel and CO2 benefits
Fri 9 Jan 2015 - Aircraft approaching London's Heathrow Airport spend an average of eight minutes circling in holdings stacks before their final descent that not only lead to delays but also extra fuel burn and CO2 emissions as well as noise impacts for communities underneath the stacks. A project led by NATS is aiming to cut average holding times by a quarter and the UK air traffic services provider reports that since April 2014 it has achieved reductions of up to a minute for those flights influenced by the trial. NATS says this has already saved airlines around £1 million ($1.5m) in fuel costs and 5,000 tonnes of CO2. The trial is being carried out as part of the UK-Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) and in collaboration with FABEC and Heathrow Airport. Read more ...

Renewable jet fuels from Amyris and Gevo make advances on approvals and towards commercial supply | Amyris,Gevo
Renewable jet fuels from Amyris and Gevo make advances on approvals and towards commercial supply
Thu 8 Jan 2015 - Brazil's fuel regulator ANP has approved the use of Amyris renewable jet fuel for commercial airline use in blends of up to 10 per cent. With the fuel being produced at the Amyris biorefinery at Brotas in south-eastern Brazil, this clears the way for its commercialisation in the country. The farnesane product, developed in partnership with French oil giant Total, is converted from sugarcane, which in time could be extended to other plant sugars. Meanwhile, fellow US biofuel company Gevo has announced a successful first supersonic test flight using a 50/50 blend of the company's alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel. The US Navy flight was conducted on a F/A-18 Hornet and is a significant milestone leading to a military specification approval of the fuel that would allow for commercial supply to the US Navy and Marine Corps, said the company. ATJ fuel pathways are currently being evaluated for regulatory approval in commercial airline operations. Read more ...

A composite airplane fleet of the future could reduce aviation life-cycle carbon emissions by 15 per cent, finds study | University of Sheffield,University of Cambridge,UCL,composites,hybrid-electric
A composite airplane fleet of the future could reduce aviation life-cycle carbon emissions by 15 per cent, finds study
Wed 7 Jan 2015 - A study by the universities of Sheffield, Cambridge and University College London (UCL) concludes that by 2050 a global fleet of composite airplanes could reduce aviation carbon emissions by between 14 and 15 per cent. The researchers say they are the first to carry out a comprehensive life-cycle assessment (LCA) of a composite commercial airliner and have extrapolated the results to the global fleet. Using publicly available information on the Boeing 787 and from the supply chain, the LCA covers manufacture, use and disposal. Compared to traditional - and heavier - aluminium planes, a composite plane creates up to 20 per cent fewer CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, other researchers at Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested a single-seat aircraft with a parallel hybrid engine - the first ever to be able to recharge its batteries in flight. Read more ...