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Wed, Mar 04, 2015



NEWS HEADLINES

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 ...
 


COMMENTARY

Addressing carbon emissions from international aviation requires the recognition of special circumstances | Alejandro Piera
Addressing carbon emissions from international aviation requires the recognition of special circumstances
Mon 26 Jan 2015 - At ICAO's 38th Assembly in 2012, States agreed to develop a global market-based measure (MBM) to address carbon emissions from international aviation. It is expected that in 2016 the 39th Assembly will consider a proposal for a global scheme designed to start in 2020. According to the resolution adopted (A38-18), in developing such a scheme, ICAO must take into account the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR), special circumstances and respective capabilities (SCRC), non-discrimination, and equal and fair opportunities. But what do these seemingly contradictory principles mean in the context of addressing international aviation’s carbon footprint? Aviation legal expert Alejandro Piera explains. Read more ...

BOOKS

Will Sustainability Fly?  Aviation Fuel Options in a Low-Carbon World
Will Sustainability Fly? Aviation Fuel Options in a Low-Carbon World
Feb 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

ICAO Seminars: International Aviation and Environment and States’ Action Plans
18-20 March 2015
Warsaw, Poland
23-25 March 2015
Dubai, UAE


 Read more ...

RECENT NEWS

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 ...
1 opinion posted

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 ...