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Phase out of noisiest Chapter 3 aircraft at Heathrow continues with growing use of the Dreamliner | Heathrow,Fly quiet
Phase out of noisiest Chapter 3 aircraft at Heathrow continues with growing use of the Dreamliner
Mon 2 Oct 2017 - The move towards using quieter aircraft by airlines at London Heathrow is gathering pace and August marked the first month without Chapter 3 aircraft, the oldest and noisiest classification. This year, the airport increased the charges to land the noisiest aircraft and operators pay on average ten times more to fly Chapter 3 planes than for the quietest aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Heathrow has promised that by 2020 no Chapter 3 aircraft should be operating at the airport. Dreamliners are now the fastest growing aircraft types at the airport, it reports, with more than 700 additional flights in June compared to last year. Heathrow's latest 'Fly Quiet and Clean' top 50 league table for the period April to June shows Air India rose 37 places to 5th as a result of switching to the Dreamliner and better track keeping. Read more ...

All-electric passenger aircraft could be flying on its short-haul routes within a decade, claims easyJet | EasyJet,Wright Electric,Zunum Aero,TLD
All-electric passenger aircraft could be flying on its short-haul routes within a decade, claims easyJet
Sun 1 Oct 2017 - European low-cost carrier easyJet believes commercial flights using all-electric aircraft could be possible within the next decade, with a further ambitious goal that every short-haul flight is zero-emissions within 20 years. At its Innovation Day last week, easyJet outlined its collaboration with US electric aircraft manufacturer Wright Electric, which it has been working with over the course of this year to provide an airline's perspective on a future electric-powered passenger aircraft. A prototype aircraft was unveiled with a range of 335 miles (540km), which would cover 20 per cent of passenger journeys flown by easyJet. The airline also announced it is to introduce new electric towbarless aircraft tugs for its operations at London Gatwick and is partnering with Safran to start trials shortly on hydrogen fuel cell technology to enable zero-emissions e-taxiing of its aircraft. Read more ...

Neste to supply its renewable jet fuel to airlines at Geneva Airport later next year | Neste,Geneva Airport
Neste to supply its renewable jet fuel to airlines at Geneva Airport later next year
Thu 21 Sept 2017 - Renewable fuel producer Neste is to collaborate with Geneva Airport to supply its MY Renewable Jet Fuel product for aircraft operations as of late 2018. The target is for at least 1 per cent of the annual jet fuel consumption at the airport to be composed of the renewable fuel, with the annual volume expected to reach "thousands of tonnes", says Finland-headquartered Neste. The fuel will be produced at Neste's European refineries using 100 per cent waste and residue based renewable raw materials. Along with logistics stakeholders, both partners are looking at the most viable form of transporting the fuel to the airport. Neste supplied its fuel to Lufthansa for the first-ever series of regular flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg in 2011 and is involved in other Scandinavian and Dutch sustainable jet fuel initiatives. Read more ...

New government-backed initiative launched to create a world-leading UK sustainable aviation fuel industry | SAF SIG,RTFO
New government-backed initiative launched to create a world-leading UK sustainable aviation fuel industry
Wed 20 Sept 2017 - Following a decision by the UK government to support the development of sustainable fuels for the aviation sector, a new initiative has been formed that will bring supply chain partners together with the aim of building a world-leading sustainable aviation fuel industry in the UK. Sponsored by the Department for Transport and industry coalition group Sustainable Aviation, the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Special Interest Group (SAF SIG) will be run by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), a government-backed programme to link business with R&D and investors. A third sponsor and network partner is Innovate UK, a government agency tasked with finding and driving science and technology innovations that will grow the national economy.  Read more ...

British Airways embarks on new sustainable jet fuel project as UK government announces RTFO incentive | British Airways,RTFO,Velocys,Virgin Atlantic,Sustainable Aviation,WWF-UK
British Airways embarks on new sustainable jet fuel project as UK government announces RTFO incentive
Tue 19 Sept 2017 - Following a UK government announcement on Friday that it will include sustainable jet fuel under its Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) incentive scheme, British Airways and renewable fuels technology company Velocys have confirmed they are to partner on a project to make a business case for a series of waste-to-jet fuel commercial scale plants in the UK. Velocys will lead an initial feasibility study and, subject to its findings and successful completion of the development stages, an investment decision could be made in 2019. The company believes a plant could be up and running two to three years after this. After the failed project with Solena for a facility near London that was going to produce renewable jet fuel for the airline through an offtake purchase agreement, British Airways won't comment yet on investment issues or quantify the amount of fuel involved but the first plant could produce in the region of 30,000 tonnes a year, equivalent to around 9 million US gallons. Read more ...

Clash looms between EU institutions on how long to stop the clock on scope of the Aviation EU ETS | Julie Girling
Clash looms between EU institutions on how long to stop the clock on scope of the Aviation EU ETS
Wed 13 Sept 2017 - The European Parliament voted by a clear majority today to back proposals from the European Commission to extend the derogation that restricts the scope of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to covering flights within the European Economic Area (EEA). Agreed to enable ICAO to reach an agreement on a global carbon scheme, the derogation - known as 'Stop the Clock' - ended in 2016 and the EU institutions must reach a consensus by early next year. However, the vote signals a split between the Parliament and the Commission about how much longer the clock should be stopped. The Parliament voted to end the derogation by the end of 2020 in order to keep pressure on ICAO to finalise details on its CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme. In contrast, the Commission has proposed an open-ended derogation subject to a future review, in the belief that setting a time limit would create difficulties with the ongoing ICAO negotiating process. The Parliament also voted to further toughen EU ETS rules in the post-2020 period. Read more ...

Carbon offsetting can play an important role in achieving airlines' climate goals, says study, but finds low level of understanding | Susanne Becken,Brendan Mackey,Griffith University
Carbon offsetting can play an important role in achieving airlines' climate goals, says study, but finds low level of understanding
Fri 8 Sept 2017 - With the growth in air travel demand forecast to outstrip fuel efficiency improvements, the aviation industry's CO2 emissions goals can only be achieved through the purchase of carbon offsets. However, says a new study, there is considerable misunderstanding about offsetting and the difference between scientific and policy perspectives. Through their customer carbon offsetting schemes, airlines have already built partnerships with offset providers but it is important they correctly communicate the climate change benefits, say researchers from Griffith University in Australia. A total of 139 airlines were analysed in a study to investigate what information they provided on their role in carbon offsetting and whether the option was offered to their customers, with 44 airlines found to be actively involved. The researchers provide a number of best-practice principles to help airlines improve the reporting of their offsetting schemes. Read more ...

Airbus nears flight testing of breakthrough aircraft laminar wing technology that promises substantial fuel burn reduction | Airbus,laminar flow,Saab,GKN,Clean Sky
Airbus nears flight testing of breakthrough aircraft laminar wing technology that promises substantial fuel burn reduction
Mon 4 Sept 2017 - Flight testing is about to start later this month by Airbus on laminar wing technology that could reduce drag by 8 per cent and decrease fuel burn and carbon emissions by up to 5 per cent if used on future generation short-range commercial aircraft. Laminar flow - the uninterrupted flow of air over an aircraft's wing to greatly improve the aerodynamics - is considered by many aircraft designers to be aviation’s holy grail because of the potential rewards involved. As part of the EU's Clean Sky programme, Airbus and 21 partners have been working since 2008 on the BLADE (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe] project, which has now reached the critical flight testing phase of an Airbus A340 testbed aircraft fitted with new outer wing sections. Airbus claims BLADE is the largest flight test demonstrator ever launched in Europe, if not the world. Read more ...

UK government recommits to funding support for development of advanced aviation biofuels | Sustainable Aviation,RTFO,Virgin Atlantic,British Airways
UK government recommits to funding support for development of advanced aviation biofuels
Mon 28 Aug 2017 - The UK government has recommitted to providing up to £22 million ($28m) towards funding for projects to develop advanced low carbon, waste-based advanced fuels for planes and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fund, which must be matched by industry, is expected to help deliver up to five new plants in the UK by 2021 that will produce advanced fuels to be used in aircraft and lorries where it is not yet viable to switch to electric power. The UK's Department for Transport (DfT), in association with engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo, first launched the 'Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition' (F4C) in April to invite applications for the funding but stalled due to the UK general election in May. The DfT reports it has received interest from over 70 groups in bidding for the funding. The UK aviation industry has welcomed the announcement, although it sees the bigger prize as the inclusion of advanced aviation biofuels in the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), on which the government is consulting. Read more ...

A 30 per cent share of sustainable aviation fuel at Norway’s airports by 2030 is achievable with public funding help, finds report | Ramboll,Avinor,Air BP,Bergen Airport
A 30 per cent share of sustainable aviation fuel at Norway’s airports by 2030 is achievable with public funding help, finds report
Fri 25 Aug 2017 - Around 30 per cent of all jet fuel, or 400 million litres, supplied at Norwegian airports could be sustainable by 2030, finds a new report produced on behalf of the country's aviation sector. However, because of the high price premium of jet biofuel compared with its fossil equivalent, this would only be possible with the help of policy intervention and public funding. A domestic aviation biofuel market could be created either by implementing a blending requirement or through a fund to raise the necessary finance for production, which would be based on feedstocks from Norwegian forestry residues and pulpwood. The report suggests two potential funding models. Meanwhile, following the introduction of commercial jet biofuel supplies at Oslo Airport in January 2016, a first batch of biojet has been delivered to Bergen Airport in Norway by Air BP. Read more ...

European airports continue drive towards using renewable energy to supply terminal power and reduce emissions | Schiphol Group,Eneco,Finavia,Helsinki,Raleigh-Durham International,Proterra,Wind power,Solar power
European airports continue drive towards using renewable energy to supply terminal power and reduce emissions
Wed 23 Aug 2017 - Airport operator Royal Schiphol Group has entered into an agreement with Dutch energy company Eneco that will see Amsterdam Schiphol, Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Lelystad airports supplied with sustainable power from next year. Eneco will provide the airport group with 200 GWh of green energy every year for 15 years from power generated by new Dutch wind farms that will supply electricity for terminals, administration buildings and runway lighting. Meanwhile, Finavia is installing solar panels at Helsinki Airport that will supply nearly 10 per cent of all electricity requirements for new terminal extensions and is also increasing the use of renewable energy at other airports in Finland through the use of bioenergy and geothermal heat. Helsinki recently became Europe's 28th airport to be certified as carbon neutral. Read more ...

Big shift from air to rail travel between Central Scotland and London over past decade leads to significant carbon savings | Scotland,Transform Scotland,Virgin Trains,Rail
Big shift from air to rail travel between Central Scotland and London over past decade leads to significant carbon savings
Tue 22 Aug 2017 - As a result of a rise in growth of rail's market share for trips between Central Scotland and London between 2005 and 2015 at the expense of air travel, 681,064 tonnes of carbon emissions were saved over the period, finds a study by sustainable transport campaign group Transform Scotland. Over the decade, the market share for rail journeys on routes between London and Scotland's two biggest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, grew from 20 per cent to 33 per cent. As a result of a £9 billion ($11.5bn) investment in infrastructure, new trains and increased frequency, growth has been particularly strong on the West Coast route linking Glasgow and London, where 332,208 tonnes of emissions were saved as a result of people switching from air to rail. The report recommends further rail investment and more government leadership in setting targets and use of the tax system to encourage further modal shift. Read more ...

New UK aviation strategy must address the sector's environmental impact, pledges government | Airline Operators Association,Airlines UK,Sustainable Aviation,AEF
New UK aviation strategy must address the sector's environmental impact, pledges government
Mon 24 July 2017 - The UK government has opened an eighteen-month consultation into the long-term future of aviation in the UK and has pledged that any new strategy must address the impact of the sector on local communities and the environment. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said a vision was required that looked beyond a new runway at Heathrow, and a thriving sector would be central to the UK's future prosperity in a post-Brexit world. In the wide-ranging consultation into the technological, security, environmental and passenger service challenges ahead, the government is also looking for views on possible new forms of compensation for noise or designing targets for noise reduction. Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport has announced 700 local homes most affected by aircraft noise will be offered bespoke noise insulation free of charge. Read more ...

Report identifies mechanisms to fund uptake and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Seattle-Tacoma | Port of Seattle,Seattle-Tacoma International,Carbon War Room,SkyNRG
Report identifies mechanisms to fund uptake and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Seattle-Tacoma
Fri 21 July 2017 - Although the premium has come down considerably since their introduction in 2008, the current cost of sustainable aviation fuels is still around three times higher than conventional fossil-based jet fuels and has been an important factor in their slow take-up and large-scale production. Airports such as Seattle-Tacoma International, however, are keen to supply their airline customers with a reliable and regular supply of sustainable advanced fuels as they could provide important environmental and economic benefits far into the future. Airports are at the supply-chain intersection of airlines, fuel suppliers, governments and communities, and can leverage their position in supporting scale-up. To bridge the price premium gap, the Carbon War Room and SkyNRG have worked with the Port of Seattle to produce a report to assess and recommend potential long-term funding mechanisms that could supply all airlines at the airport. Read more ...

Second generation transport biofuels can play a significant role in meeting UK carbon reduction targets, says report | Royal Academy of Engineering,UK biofuels
Second generation transport biofuels can play a significant role in meeting UK carbon reduction targets, says report
Thu 20 July 2017 - A viable second generation liquid biofuel industry and market has a significant role in helping to meet UK long-term carbon reduction goals, particularly in sectors like aviation where alternative low-carbon options are not available. So concludes a report by the Royal Academy of Engineering commissioned by the UK's transport and energy government departments, DfT and BEIS. Aviation - along with shipping and heavy goods vehicles - should be considered a priority for the development and use of biofuels, it recommends. While there has been growth in the contribution of biofuels to road transport in the UK under the government's Renewable Fuels Transport Obligation (RTFO), although production has stagnated over the past eight years, little progress has been made in aviation and even less in shipping. An immediate priority, says the Academy, is for government to incentivise the development of second generation biofuels such as those derived from wastes and agricultural, forest and sawmill residues. Read more ...

Future airline and airport disruption likely as a warming climate makes it harder for aircraft to take off | Ethan Coffel,Radley Horton,Columbia University,Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory,Paul Williams
Future airline and airport disruption likely as a warming climate makes it harder for aircraft to take off
Tue 18 July 2017 - Rising temperatures as a result of global climate change will make it harder over the coming decades for aircraft to take off at certain airports, finds a Columbia University study published in the journal Climatic Change. Since 1980, average global temperatures have gone up nearly 1 degree C and this may already be having an effect. Last month, American Airlines cancelled over 40 flights out of Phoenix when daytime temperatures reached nearly 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) as smaller regional aircraft are only tested up to 118 degrees F. As air warms, it spreads out and its density declines, and in thinner air, wings generate less lift as a plane races along a runway, explain the researchers. A packed plane may therefore be unable to take off safely so weight must either be dumped or the flight delayed or cancelled.  Read more ...

ENVI MEPs back continuation of EU ETS ‘stop the clock’ until 2020 pending ICAO CORSIA outcome | ENVI,Julie Girling,Peter Liese,Seb Dance
ENVI MEPs back continuation of EU ETS ‘stop the clock’ until 2020 pending ICAO CORSIA outcome
Thu 13 July 2017 - Members of the European Parliament's environment committee (ENVI) have unanimously backed a proposal for continuing with the exclusion of CO2 emissions from intercontinental flights from the EU ETS, but only until 2020. The 'stop the clock' derogation, which limits the scope of the trading scheme to intra-EEA flights, automatically ended in December 2016 and requires new legislation to extend it. The issue will come before a full plenary in September, followed by trilogue talks with the Council. The derogation was agreed to allow negotiations to continue at ICAO on the global CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme to start in 2021 but ENVI MEPs want to see the final details before agreeing to yet a further extension. They also proposed the rules be tightened on aviation's participation in the EU ETS from 2021 to bring it into line with other industrial sectors. Read more ...

Lufthansa Group stalls on annual fuel efficiency improvement for the second year running | Lufthansa
Lufthansa Group stalls on annual fuel efficiency improvement for the second year running
Tue 11 July 2017 - For the second year running, Europe's largest airline group, Lufthansa, failed to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet, citing a decline in the passenger load factor by 1.4 per cent and the negative effects of "geopolitical developments" and changing passenger reservation patterns caused by strikes. The group also says new, more fuel-efficient aircraft did not arrive early enough in the reporting year to make a contribution to lowering fuel consumption. The Group's fuel efficiency averaged 3.85 litres per 100 passenger-kilometres (l/100pkm) in 2016 compared to 3.84 l/100pkm in 2015 and 2014, with fuel consumption rising 1.2 per cent in 2016, from nearly 28.2 million tonnes of CO2 to just over 28.5 million tonnes. SWISS, which flies predominantly long- and medium-haul routes, was the best performer in the Group with a specific fuel consumption of 3.44 l/100pkm. Read more ...