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Early promise of green aircraft taxiing solutions has yet to materialise although progress on regulatory approvals | WheelTug,TaxiBot,EGTS,GreenTaxi
Early promise of green aircraft taxiing solutions has yet to materialise although progress on regulatory approvals
Fri 24 Feb 2017 - It is estimated around 18 million tonnes of CO2 are emitted annually during aircraft taxiing operations and efforts other than reduced engine taxiing have been ongoing for over a decade to find alternative, innovative solutions to save fuel, time and emissions. However, those efforts have had mixed results. A Honeywell/Safran EGTS joint venture was abandoned last year. A similar joint venture involving L-3 and Crane Aerospace, called GreenTaxi, also disappeared off the radar. This has left just two mainstream solutions: the WheelTug nose wheel electric drive system that propels a narrowbody aircraft from the stand to the runway, and IAI's TaxiBot semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle. However, this has not dented the enthusiasm of IATA in seeing the potential fuel and emissions saving benefits of autonomous taxiing and has announced it will hold its second E-Taxiing conference in Singapore in May. Read more ...

San Diego International seeks interested parties for its expanding carbon offset air traveller programme | San Diego International Airport,Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
San Diego International seeks interested parties for its expanding carbon offset air traveller programme
Thu 23 Feb 2017 - San Diego International Airport has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from parties interested in the supply of carbon offsets and the operation of its The Good Traveler programme. Launched in September 2015, the programme had offset around 11.5 million air miles by December 2016 as a result of passengers purchasing credits for offsetting the carbon emissions of their trips. Travellers can either purchase credits from The Good Traveler website or from retail outlets and works on a simple basis of a payment of $2 for every 1,000 miles flown. The programme has now been taken up by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and is looking to extend its reach to the corporate and events markets. Read more ...

MPs say the UK government is not doing enough to mitigate environmental impacts of an expanded Heathrow | Environmental Audit Committee,Heathrow third runway
MPs say the UK government is not doing enough to mitigate environmental impacts of an expanded Heathrow
Thu 23 Feb 2017 - A cross-party committee of MPs has criticised the UK government for not doing enough to show how an expanded Heathrow Airport can operate within environmental legal limits and climate targets. With London already in breach of EU air quality rules for 2017, a report by the Environmental Audit Committee says a new strategy is required to ensure that expansion is not granted at the expense of public health. It also accuses the government of providing a lack of detail on carbon emissions limits, with figures used for the costs and benefits of expansion being based, say the MPs, on a hypothetical international framework to reduce emissions that does not yet exist. They call for an independently scrutinised strategy to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation and say it is imperative the UK remains within the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) after Brexit. Noise measures lack ambition, they argue, and if the government plans to rely on technical improvements to reduce noise impacts then it must provide the aviation industry with support. Read more ...

Austrian federal court rejects Vienna Airport's third runway plans on climate protection grounds | Vienna International Airport
Austrian federal court rejects Vienna Airport's third runway plans on climate protection grounds
Tue 21 Feb 2017 - Austria's Federal Administrative Court has ruled plans for a new third runway at Vienna International Airport should be rejected on climate change grounds, and that the positive economic benefits of the airport expansion were outweighed by the potential harm to the public interest caused by higher carbon emissions. Plans for the runway were first submitted back in 2007 and had been approved by the Lower Austrian regional government. In its 128-page decision, the court found the increase in aviation CO2 emissions from an extra runway was at odds with the country's 2020 transport sector reduction target. Vienna Airport's operator said a third runway was of vital importance to its economic future and described the decision as "legally and objectively untenable and false". It now intends to file an extraordinary appeal with the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court and pledged to "continue to vigorously pursue this project." Read more ...

Government policy action is key to the large-scale deployment of aviation biofuels, hears ICAO seminar
Government policy action is key to the large-scale deployment of aviation biofuels, hears ICAO seminar
Fri 17 Feb 2017 - Although sustainable alternative fuels are key to meeting the aviation sector's long-term emissions goals, supportive government policies are required to bring these fuels to global deployment. This was a central theme of last week's ICAO Seminar on Alternative Fuels in Montreal that brought together a range of stakeholders including biofuel producers, regulators, the airline and aerospace sectors, and government representatives. The seminar was a precursor to a high-level ICAO Conference on Alternative Fuels to be held in Mexico City next October in which States will convene to devise strategies for developing commercial-scale supplies of sustainable jet fuels. Speakers at the seminar said policy efforts were required to reduce financial risk, ensure a level playing field with other transport sectors and create public-private partnerships. The seminar was also a chance for biofuel producers and airlines to provide updates on alternative fuel projects. Read more ...

European Parliament votes for reforms to the EU ETS from 2020 that would tighten aviation emissions cap | Redshaw Advisors,International Emissions Trading Association,T&E
European Parliament votes for reforms to the EU ETS from 2020 that would tighten aviation emissions cap
Wed 15 Feb 2017 – The European Parliament has voted to increase the ambition of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for the next phase of the scheme starting in 2021, which includes tightening the emissions cap of the aviation sector. The sector should expect to receive 10 per cent fewer allowances than its 2014-2016 average, say MEPs. Trilogue negotiations on the overall EU ETS reform package will now take place with the EU Council, which represents Member States, and the European Commission before a final decision is taken. Green lobby group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the decision by MEPs as evidence that aircraft emissions will in future be treated on a par with other industries covered by the EU ETS. European airlines made clear their opposition last week to the sector's continued inclusion in the EU scheme once the ICAO global CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme starts in 2021. Read more ...

European airlines seek speedy EU agreement and clarity on the future of EU ETS legislation | Airlines for Europe,A4E,Willie Walsh,Carsten Spohr,Pekka Vauramo,Michael Cramer
European airlines seek speedy EU agreement and clarity on the future of EU ETS legislation
Fri 10 Feb 2017 - European airline leaders welcomed last week's proposal from the European Commission to continue with the 'stop the clock' scope of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) until 2020 and urged EU legislators to apply the required new regulations as soon as possible. Speaking at the inaugural Airlines for Europe (A4E) Aviation Summit in Brussels on Wednesday, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said A4E members expected the ICAO CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme to replace the EU ETS from 2021 and called for a smooth transition between the two. However, German Green MEP Michael Cramer said during a panel session at the conference that it was likely the European Parliament would vote to continue with the EU ETS alongside CORSIA, raising the prospect of European airlines having to comply with two carbon schemes. Meanwhile, the Pope has described the buying of carbon offsets to compensate for air travel as hypocritical. Read more ...

Swedish regional airline BRA undertakes first biofuel flight of a turboprop ATR 72-600 | BRA,Braathens,ATR,NISA
Swedish regional airline BRA undertakes first biofuel flight of a turboprop ATR 72-600
Tue 7 Feb 2017 - Swedish carrier BRA, formerly Braathens Regional, has carried out a commercial flight using a blended biofuel sourced from used cooking oil, marking a first for both the airline and turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR. The ATR 72-600 flew from Stockholm's city airport Bromma to Umea in northern Sweden, a flight distance of around 500 kilometres. With Swedish forests covering over half the country, there are several national research and development projects currently underway to produce sustainable biofuels from forestry residues in the near future. BRA said the flight was an initiative to show its commitment to the environment, while ATR pointed to the environmental performance of the ATR 72-600 and its lowest fuel consumption per seat in its aircraft category. Read more ...

European Commission proposes intra-European flights should remain covered by EU ETS pending ICAO progress | Stop the clock
European Commission proposes intra-European flights should remain covered by EU ETS pending ICAO progress
Fri 3 Feb 2017 - The European Commission has proposed that a continuation of the 'stop the clock' intra-EEA scope of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for aviation would be the most suitable option to address the period 2017-2020. The 'stop the clock' legislation automatically ended on 31 December 2016 pending the outcome of ICAO negotiations on a global market-based measure, and revised legislation is now required. Since ICAO States agreed at their Assembly in October to implement the phased Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), debate has centred around what the EU should do with its own scheme both before and after CORSIA starts in 2021. The Commission says it would be premature to take a decision on the post-2020 regime at this stage while there were still outstanding uncertainties affecting the implementation of CORSIA. Read more ...
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UK government opens consultations on Heathrow Airport expansion and airspace modernisation | NPS,Airports Commission,Committee on Climate Change,Heathrow Airport,Airlines UK,Airport Operators Association
UK government opens consultations on Heathrow Airport expansion and airspace modernisation
Fri 3 Feb 2017 - The UK government has published a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) that lays down the planning and decision-making framework for a third runway at Heathrow Airport and has opened it to a 16-week public consultation. The draft NPS sets out the measures that Heathrow will have to comply in order to get development consent for the airport expansion. These include noise insulation measures for homes and schools, above market value compensation for home owners having to make way for the new runway, mitigation of noise impacts and a commitment to no increase in airport-related road traffic. However, the NPS has been criticised by environmental groups for a lack of detail on how an expansion of air traffic sits with the UK’s climate change targets. The government has also announced separate proposals and a consultation on modernising UK airspace and managing aircraft noise. They include setting up an independent aviation noise commission. Read more ...

Aviation must continue to be included in the EU ETS post-2020, says influential European Parliament lawmaker | Peter Liese
Aviation must continue to be included in the EU ETS post-2020, says influential European Parliament lawmaker
Thu 2 Feb 2017 - International flights between Europe and major aviation countries that do not participate in ICAO’s CORSIA global carbon offset scheme from the start in 2021 should be covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), said the European Parliament's top lawmaker on aviation carbon policy. Peter Liese, former rapporteur on the inclusion of aviation into the EU ETS and environment spokesperson for the Parliament's biggest political group, indicated this could include flights between Europe and countries such as India and Russia, which have said they do not intend to join CORSIA until the mandatory phase commences in 2027. Liese also fully expects all flights within Europe to continue to be included in the EU ETS post-2020 under more stringent emission reduction targets than currently. Tomorrow, the European Commission is due to present proposals on the future direction of aviation's inclusion in the scheme as new legislation is required from 2017 if it is not to automatically revert to its full original scope. Read more ...

United commits to a lower carbon footprint during the coming year than its American and Delta rivals | United Airlines,AltAir,Fulcrum,ATW
United commits to a lower carbon footprint during the coming year than its American and Delta rivals
Mon 30 Jan 2017 - United Airlines has pledged it will have a lower gross carbon footprint this year than its two main US rivals, Delta and American, as part of its 2017 Global Performance Commitment to corporate account customers. If the airline fails to meet the target then it will compensate eligible accounts in the form of United Services Funds, which can be used for certain waivers and amenities such as upgrades. The commitment comes as United was named Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine for its environmental leadership. The award recognises the carrier's multiple initiatives over recent years, including becoming the first US airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel on regular scheduled flights from its Los Angeles (LAX) hub and its investment in alternative fuels producer Fulcrum BioEnergy. Read more ...

Airport operator Fraport joins global elite of the world's 100 most sustainable large corporations | Fraport,Global 100 index
Airport operator Fraport joins global elite of the world's 100 most sustainable large corporations
Fri 27 Jan 2017 - Fraport, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, has been recognised as one of the world's top 100 most sustainable companies in the annual Global 100 index compiled by media and research firm Corporate Knights. This is the first time an airport has been included in the index, which started in 2005 and measures 14 key performance indicators (KPIs) across companies with a market capitalisation of over $2 billion. Nearly 5,000 companies from around the world were evaluated for their economic, environmental and social performance. Fraport, ranked 96th in the index and the only company represented from the transportation infrastructure sector classification, scored an overall 51.89 per cent, compared to a score of 73.10 per cent achieved by the 2017 index leader Siemens. The airport operator maintained its rating on a number of other sustainability indexes during 2016. Read more ...

Record additions of new aircraft fail to help Emirates improve fuel efficiency of its passenger operations | Emirates,United for Wildlife
Record additions of new aircraft fail to help Emirates improve fuel efficiency of its passenger operations
Tue 24 Jan 2017 - Longer flight paths to avoid regional trouble-spots, along with a drop-off in load factors, are blamed by Gulf carrier Emirates for failing to improve the fuel efficiency of its passenger operations for the second year in a row. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions grew 12.8 per cent in the year 2015-16, outstripping the 11 per cent growth in capacity with the introduction of new routes, higher frequencies and increased capacity with larger aircraft on a number of existing routes, according to Emirates' latest environmental report. Despite bringing down the average age of the fleet from 75 months to 74 as a result of adding 29 new aircraft, passenger fuel efficiency reached 4.20 litres per 100 passenger kilometres, compared with 3.99 L/100 PK in 2014-15. As in the previous year, however, the fuel efficiency of Emirates' freighter operations managed to improve fuel efficiency performance. Read more ...

Growth in UK aviation has been delivered without any increase in carbon emissions, finds airline industry report | Airlines UK,British Air Transport Association
Growth in UK aviation has been delivered without any increase in carbon emissions, finds airline industry report
Fri 20 Jan 2017 - Although carrying 20 million more passengers than 10 years ago, this growth has been achieved without an increase in carbon emissions, claims a new report from Airlines UK, the trade body representing UK-registered airlines. It cites government data showing that in 2015, jet fuel deliveries to UK airports - for both UK and non-UK airline operations - were 10 per cent lower than in 2006. By investing in more than 470 new aircraft since 2005, at a cost of £37 billion ($45bn), UK airlines had helped the industry to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 million tonnes, it says. The report seeks to set out how future UK demand for air travel can be met while ensuring the sector limits its environmental impact and hits emission reduction targets. It also calls on government to support these efforts with favourable policy decisions. Read more ...

Feasibility study identifies sites to support supply of up to 50 million gallons per year of aviation biofuel to Sea-Tac Airport | Port of Seattle,Alaska Airlines,Sea-Tac
Feasibility study identifies sites to support supply of up to 50 million gallons per year of aviation biofuel to Sea-Tac Airport
Thu 19 Jan 2017 - A first-of-its-kind study has identified the best infrastructure options for delivering blended sustainable aviation biofuel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). Commissioned by the Port of Seattle, Boeing and Alaska Airlines, the study evaluated more than 30 sites around Washington State that could potentially support the receipt, blending, storage and delivery infrastructure required to supply Sea-Tac with up to five million gallons per year of biofuel in the short term (12-18 months) and 50 million gallons per year in the long term (two to 10 years). An aviation biofuel production plant was not considered in this study but will be an important next step once a long-term biofuel source is identified, say the partners. Sea-Tac has a goal to power every flight departing the airport with biofuel. Read more ...

Gatwick Airport joins global renewable electricity alliance and expects to reach carbon neutrality shortly | Gatwick Airport,RE100,The Climate Group,CDP,Athens International Airport,ACA
Gatwick Airport joins global renewable electricity alliance and expects to reach carbon neutrality shortly
Thu 19 Jan 2017 - London Gatwick has become the first airport to join the RE100 global alliance that commits businesses to using 100 per cent renewable electricity. It joins over 80 of the world's most influential companies that cover sectors such as IT, telecoms, retail, food and banking. With the private sector accounting for around half of the world's electricity consumption, switching demand to renewables will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition to a low-carbon economy, says the initiative. The 87 companies in the alliance create enough renewable electricity demand to power Holland each year. Gatwick has already been purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity since 2013, a key factor in its efforts to becoming carbon neutral. Meanwhile, Athens International has become the first Greek airport to become carbon neutral, raising the number of airports worldwide to achieve this status to 28. Read more ...

Aviation impacts on local air quality addressed in new report from UK industry group Sustainable Aviation | Sustainable Aviation,local air quality
Aviation impacts on local air quality addressed in new report from UK industry group Sustainable Aviation
Wed 18 Jan 2017 - Air quality in urban areas has become an increasingly contentious issue in the UK and arguments over expansion of air traffic capacity around London have centred on concerns over potential rising levels of local airborne pollutants. Industry group Sustainable Aviation (SA) has now published a paper on air quality at and around UK airports, and what the sector is doing to mitigate impacts. The group says aviation's contribution to overall UK emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) is very small but acknowledges air quality levels around some airports exceed health-based target levels. Air quality is therefore a key priority for both government and the industry, maintains SA, and its paper lays out a range of initiatives being taken to reduce NOx and PM emissions, and suggests a number of areas where the right policy support could enable further reductions. Read more ...

Latest atmosfair airline CO2 efficiency rankings show global air traffic growing at twice the rate of emissions | atmosfair,China West Air
Latest atmosfair airline CO2 efficiency rankings show global air traffic growing at twice the rate of emissions
Fri 13 Jan 2017 - An analysis by German climate protection organisation atmosfair of 32 million flights in 2014, covering 92 per cent of global aviation traffic, shows CO2 emissions increased by 3 per cent over the previous year, about half the rate of their traffic volume growth. The annual atmosfair Airline Index (AAI) compares airline emissions by city pairs of more than 200 airlines worldwide from a range of respected independent data sources and evaluates and ranks those airlines by their respective CO2 efficiency. It finds those airlines investing in new aircraft models with high seating configurations and load factors performed best in improving their carbon efficiency. As to be expected, regional and leisure airlines headed the AAI table, with a Chinese airline, China West Air, achieving the highest ranking. China is now catching up with the EU in terms of efficiency, says atmosfair, with 10 airlines, compared to 16 from Europe, in the top 50. Read more ...

Commercialisation of ATJ fuels gets boost with funding from the US DOE to develop two demo facilities | LanzaTech,Byogy,AVAPA
Commercialisation of ATJ fuels gets boost with funding from the US DOE to develop two demo facilities
Thu 12 Jan 2017 - The commercialisation of alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel in the United States has taken a step forward with awards from the Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) towards the development of two demonstration-scale facilities. As part of the DOE's first-phase federal funding of six projects in total, LanzaTech will receive $4 million to design and plan a demo facility using industrial off gases to produce low-carbon jet and diesel fuels. The second award of $3.7 million has been made to Georgia-based AVAPCO to help develop a demo-scale integrated biorefinery that combines the company's biomass-to-ethanol process with project partner Byogy's ATJ technology to produce renewable jet fuel from woody biomass. The two projects are expected to match at least half of the DOE funding and, depending on their progress, continuation to the second phase could each attract further funding of up to $45 million in fiscal year 2018 towards construction of the facilities. Read more ...

Swedavia takes first delivery of jet biofuel purchased through the Nordic Fly Green Fund initiative | Fly Green Fund,NISA,Swedavia
Swedavia takes first delivery of jet biofuel purchased through the Nordic Fly Green Fund initiative
Wed 11 Jan 2017 - Swedish airport operator Swedavia has become the first company to purchase jet biofuel through the Nordic Fly Green Fund initiative, which aims to provide finance to assist in the development of large-scale jet biofuel production and usage in the region. Swedavia took delivery of 450 tonnes of biofuel, costing SEK7.5 million ($825,000), just before the New Year and corresponds to the amount of fuel used for the company's business travel in 2016. The fuel was used on a Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flight from Stockholm Arlanda to Copenhagen on January 5 and marked another step in being the first time jet biofuel has been supplied to an aircraft through the airport's regular fuel logistics infrastructure. Swedavia said its investment in the fuel would help both promote domestic production and achieve the ambition of making Swedish domestic air travel fossil-free by 2030. Read more ...