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NEWS 2015

UK airspace changes and Heathrow arrivals procedure will lessen environmental impact, say CAA and NATS | NATS,XMAN,UK CAA
UK airspace changes and Heathrow arrivals procedure will lessen environmental impact, say CAA and NATS
Fri 18 Dec 2015 - A NATS trial project to slow aircraft down up to 350 miles from London in order to cut holding times at Heathrow Airport has proved successful enough for it to be brought into permanent operational service. The cross-border arrivals management procedure, called XMAN, involves NATS air traffic controllers in the UK working with their counterparts in France, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Since the project started in April 2014, NATS says holding times for those aircraft impacted by the trial have been reduced by up to a minute, equating to savings of 8,000 tonnes of CO2 and £1.65 million ($2.4m) in fuel costs. The UK CAA, meanwhile, has approved major airspace changes covering eastern and southern England that will enable aircraft to fly more efficiently, help reduce the number of low-level flights and so reduce their environmental impact. Read more ...

Japanese microalgae company Euglena plans new demo plant to produce jet biofuels for ANA | Euglena,ANA,Japan,INAF
Japanese microalgae company Euglena plans new demo plant to produce jet biofuels for ANA
Thu 17 Dec 2015 - Japanese microalgae company Euglena has announced plans to build the country's first demonstration plant to produce jet biofuel from algae. In a partnership with Chevron Lummus Global, the refinery is to be built in Yokohama and anticipated to cost around 3 billion yen ($24m), with an aim to start operations in 2018. The refinery is expected to produce around 33,000 gallons of jet biofuel per year, which will be supplied to All Nippon Airways (ANA), and Euglena hopes to proceed with a full commercial plant "in the 2020s". Other construction, commercialisation and procurement partners in the venture include Chiyoda, Isuzu Motors and Itochu Enex. Read more ...

Omission of international aviation from Paris climate agreement a vote of confidence, says ICAO President | COP21
Omission of international aviation from Paris climate agreement a vote of confidence, says ICAO President
Wed 16 Dec 2015 - The fact that international aviation was not covered by the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 last Saturday (Dec 12) is a vote of confidence in the progress ICAO and the aviation community have made towards ambitious climate goals, according to ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu said the COP21 process and outcome represented a major accomplishment for the world and aviation, and 2016 would be "a very big year" for environmental issues at ICAO, with progress expected on the global market-based measure (MBM) and aircraft CO2 standard. The Paris Agreement will provide additional momentum to the MBM negotiations, said IATA Director General Tony Tyler. EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said the EU had fought hard to have the sector included in the Agreement and was concerned by the slow pace of the MBM development. Read more ...

Historic global climate agreement reached in Paris but international aviation left on the sidelines | COP21,Paris Agreement
Historic global climate agreement reached in Paris but international aviation left on the sidelines
Mon 14 Dec 2015 - The historic climate agreement reached in Paris on Saturday (Dec 12) will provide a positive momentum for discussions taking place at ICAO on introducing a market-based measure (MBM) for international aviation carbon emissions, said the industry's Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). It called on governments to "redouble their efforts" in progressing work on developing the measure next year. However, to the surprise of many, the paragraph in earlier draft texts referring to international aviation and shipping was removed in the later stages and despite efforts by some smaller countries and the European Union to have it reinserted, there is no mention in the final agreement. Environmental NGOs believe the absence casts doubts over who is responsible for controlling the fast-growing emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors post-2020, which together currently account for around 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Read more ...

UK Government accepts case for airport expansion but says more time needed to examine environmental impacts | Airports Commission
UK Government accepts case for airport expansion but says more time needed to examine environmental impacts
Fri 11 Dec 2015 - The UK Government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east of England but has postponed a decision on where that expansion should take place until the middle of next year at the earliest. The report of the Airports Commission published in the summer had firmly recommended a new third runway at Heathrow but the Government has reopened the door to the viability of two other schemes shortlisted by the Commission, a second runway at Gatwick and the extension of an existing runway at Heathrow that could simultaneously handle both incoming and outgoing aircraft. The Government says more work needs to be done to analyse the environmental impacts of the expansion proposals, in particular on local air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, and is expecting the airports to submit "ambitious solutions" to tackle the issue. Read more ...

Researchers claim to have found a new way to convert wood biowaste into jet fuel hydrocarbons | Washington State University Tri-Cities,lignin,Alaska Airlines,US Department of Agriculture
Researchers claim to have found a new way to convert wood biowaste into jet fuel hydrocarbons
Thu 10 Dec 2015 - Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSU) in the United States say they have found a way to convert lignin, a common wood by-product, into the same hydrocarbon molecules that are used as jet fuel. The procedure developed by Dr Bin Yang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering, and his team converts lignin into a mix of hydrocarbons in a single reactor using appropriate catalysts, and the resulting product is then separated and purified to obtain the required jet fuel hydrocarbons. After cellulose, lignin is the most abundant renewable carbon source on Earth, according to the International Lignin Institute. Yang's team is now working with Boeing to develop and test the discovery. Elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska Airlines is expected to conduct a demonstration flight in 2016 using 1,000 gallons of jet biofuel derived from forest scraps. Read more ...

Airports industry partners with UNFCCC on climate action and efforts to increase carbon neutrality | Airport Carbon Accreditation,COP21
Airports industry partners with UNFCCC on climate action and efforts to increase carbon neutrality
Wed 9 Dec 2015 - During the current global climate negotiations in Paris, the airport industry has agreed a partnership with the UNFCCC and also pledged to increase the number of carbon neutral airports. At a COP21 side event, industry trade association Airports Council International (ACI) committed to supporting the UNFCCC's Climate Neutral Now campaign, while the UN climate change body will support airport climate action, in particular the sector's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme. The voluntary airport carbon standard, first launched by ACI Europe in June 2009 and now extended worldwide, is aimed at encouraging airports to map, manage and reduce their emissions, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. During the COP, the European airport industry committed to increasing the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030. Read more ...

UNFCCC adopts first aviation-related Clean Development Mechanism methodology for green taxiing projects | COP21,CDM,green taxiing
UNFCCC adopts first aviation-related Clean Development Mechanism methodology for green taxiing projects
Fri 4 Dec 2015 - ICAO has announced the adoption of the first aviation-related UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology that will quantify CO2 reductions from the use of electric taxiing systems for aircraft. This is the first of three methodologies the UNFCCC Executive Board that oversees the CDM agreed earlier this year to develop, the other two relating to solar power for at-gate aircraft and aircraft engine washing projects. 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 help meet their UN climate reduction targets. Under the Kyoto climate treaty, projects to reduce emissions from domestic flights and at airports in developing countries are already eligible to be included in the CDM but international flights are not. Read more ...

Boeing and SkyNRG collaborate with Canadian aviation sector on forest waste to jet biofuel venture | Neste,SAA,Air Canada,WestJet,Bombardier,GARDN,SkyNRG,UBC
Boeing and SkyNRG collaborate with Canadian aviation sector on forest waste to jet biofuel venture
Thu 3 Dec 2015 - Boeing, SkyNRG and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have formed a consortium with Canadian aviation industry partners to assess the potential of producing sustainable jet fuel from forest residues using thermochemical processing. The consortium will be led by UBC and Vancouver-based NORAM Engineering and Constructors, with sustainable jet fuel supplier SkyNRG acting as project partner. Also part of the venture are Air Canada, WestJet and Bombardier. A Boeing-sponsored study by UBC found that fuel from forest waste could meet 10 per cent - about 46 million gallons, or 175 million litres - of British Columbia's annual jet fuel demand. Boeing has also announced it will collaborate with Finnish renewable diesel producer Neste Oil to promote and accelerate jet biofuel commercialisation. Read more ...

COP21: China expresses "serious concerns" over ICAO global measure to limit growth of aviation emissions | COP21
COP21: China expresses "serious concerns" over ICAO global measure to limit growth of aviation emissions
Wed 2 Dec 2015 - In a statement presented yesterday at the COP21 climate conference in Paris, China expressed its displeasure over a key element of the global market-based measure (GMBM) currently under development at ICAO. The Strawman proposal drawn up to provide a potential framework for the main structure of the GMBM is not compatible with the UN climate differentiation principle (CBDR), says a statement by China to SBSTA, the UNFCCC technical and scientific body dealing with international aviation and shipping emissions. Another statement by Argentina on behalf of a number of developing States, including China, Brazil and India, plus groups of African and Arab countries, said the CBDR principle had to be fully respected by ICAO on climate issues and measures should not constitute hidden restrictions on international trade. (updated 9 DecRead more ...

Concerns over use of international aviation as a source of climate finance expressed in ICAO declaration | COP21
Concerns over use of international aviation as a source of climate finance expressed in ICAO declaration
Fri 27 Nov 2015 - Ahead of the Paris climate change conference (COP21) that starts on Monday, ICAO's governing Council has again called on Member States to oppose the disproportionate use of international aviation as a potential source of revenue for climate finance for other sectors. At a session of the Council last week, representatives adopted a formal Declaration that will be circulated in Paris in which ICAO informs that it is on course to adopt a global CO2 standard for aircraft next year and is committed to finalising the key design elements of a global market-based measure (GMBM) for a decision by the next Assembly in autumn 2016. A delegation of ICAO officials, including Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and Secretary General Dr Fang Liu, is expected to attend the two-week conference in Paris. Aviation-related side events organised by the industry and NGOs will take place during the COP. Read more ...

Low oil price and current lack of government support stalls British Airways' waste to jet biofuel project | Solena
Low oil price and current lack of government support stalls British Airways' waste to jet biofuel project
Thu 26 Nov 2015 - A pioneering industry partnership between British Airways and Solena Fuels to build a facility to the east of London that would convert municipal solid waste (MSW) to around 16 million gallons of sustainable jet fuel annually has ended. Solena had struggled to raise the necessary finance for the GreenSky project, which was dealt a final blow by the current low price of oil of around $50 per barrel, when a price of $70 was needed by the US company to make the jet biofuel produced cost competitive with conventional fuel. When first announced in 2010, the $500 million facility was due to start production this year and a site was selected last year on the Thames Estuary. BA says it remains committed to pursuing the MSW to jet fuel pathway and is talking to other companies in the field but believes a current lack of government support has contributed to the delay of the project. Read more ...

A lack of emission reduction targets for aviation risks undermining global efforts on 2⁰C warming objective | Oeko-Institut,COP21
A lack of emission reduction targets for aviation risks undermining global efforts on 2⁰C warming objective
Fri 20 Nov 2015 - A lack of adequate sectoral targets and appropriate action to reduce emissions from international aviation and shipping risks undermining efforts elsewhere to achieve the internationally agreed goal of keeping global warming below the 2 degrees C threshold, finds a study prepared for the European Parliament. International aviation's current 1.3 per cent share of global CO2 emissions may rise to a substantial 22 per cent by 2050 if the sector does not step up its ambition and continues to fall behind other sectors working to combat climate change, it warns. While full decarbonisation of aviation within the next 30 years is unrealistic, argues the study, stabilising emissions at 2020 levels, as proposed by ICAO Member States, "is clearly not enough." It is important to establish targets for both aviation and shipping that clearly indicate emissions cannot grow unlimited and unregulated, it advises EU lawmakers. Read more ...

IATA’s first alternative aviation fuel conference focuses on bringing together airlines and fuel suppliers | IATA Alternative Fuel Symposium
IATA’s first alternative aviation fuel conference focuses on bringing together airlines and fuel suppliers
Fri 20 Nov 2015 - In conjunction with its annual Aviation Fuel Forum, IATA recently held the 1st Alternative Fuel Symposium in Cancun, Mexico. Around 80 participants from the aviation and the alternative fuel sector, as well as from traditional oil companies, came together for this first-of-its-kind event, reports IATA's Thomas Roetger. In contrast to the already numerous conferences covering aviation biofuels, he writes, the symposium had a clear focus on directly bringing together airline customers and alternative fuel suppliers with each other and also with business facilitators helping to remove the remaining barriers to alternative jet fuel deployment. Over 20 international leaders and experts in the field of alternative aviation fuels presented and discussed views and shared case studies. Read more ...

NATS to install new radar system at Edinburgh Airport to mitigate impact of new wind farm | NATS,wind farms
NATS to install new radar system at Edinburgh Airport to mitigate impact of new wind farm
Fri 20 Nov 2015 - UK air traffic services provider NATS is to install and operate a new radar system at Edinburgh Airport that will totally mitigate the impact of an upcoming wind farm development located around 20 miles (32km) southwest of the airport. NATS has signed a contract with developer Muirhall Energy to cover the 25-year design life of the Tormywheel Wind Farm, which will feature 15 turbines capable of generating 34MW of renewable energy. Wind turbines can cause radar interference whereby the blades appear as 'clutter' on radar screens and can be mistaken for aircraft. This is usually addressed by 'blanking' out the area, which while effective is not considered a long-term sustainable solution. Read more ...

Legacy carriers with high premium seating fare badly in first fuel efficiency study of transatlantic routes | ICCT
Legacy carriers with high premium seating fare badly in first fuel efficiency study of transatlantic routes
Tue 17 Nov 2015 - Analysis comparing the fuel efficiency of top 20 airlines on transatlantic routes finds a sizeable gap between the most and least efficient carriers, with low-cost Norwegian comfortably leading the table, which is propped up by major legacy carriers British Airways, SAS and Lufthansa. Seating configuration and the number of first and business class seats, plus the fuel burn of the aircraft operated, are the two most important factors influencing airline fuel efficiency. Together they explain about 80 per cent of the variation in efficiency among the airlines studied by the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT). Other drivers of efficiency such as passenger load factors and freight carriage were found to be relatively less important. Read more ...

NASA and DLR tests show alternative fuels can cut dangerous soot emissions from jet engines in half | NASA,DLR
NASA and DLR tests show alternative fuels can cut dangerous soot emissions from jet engines in half
Thu 12 Nov 2015 - Ongoing research by NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) indicates that burning blended alternative fuels in jet engines results in a 50 per cent reduction in soot emissions as opposed to traditional jet fuel alone. Soot has both an adverse impact on human health and, as it absorbs heat, has a climatic warming effect when emitted at high altitudes. In their latest collaboration, NASA has supplied several instruments for DLR's Emissions and Climate Impacts of Alternative Aviation Fuels (ECLIF) experiments. These involve measuring the exhaust from a parked DLR Airbus A320 as it burns eight different types of standard and alternative fuels that contain varying amounts of aromatic compounds and sulphur impurities. NASA says the ECLIF data will help confirm and supplement its own alternative aviation fuel research that it has been carrying out since 2009. Read more ...

EU MEPs call on US to support inclusion in Paris agreement of robust measures on aviation emissions | COP21,Peter Liese,Matthias Groote
EU MEPs call on US to support inclusion in Paris agreement of robust measures on aviation emissions
Wed 11 Nov 2015 - Two senior European MEPs, Matthias Groote and Peter Liese, have called on President Obama to change his administration's approach to aviation and shipping emissions and support wording in the Paris agreement that requires the two sectors to do more in the fight against climate change. Unlike the many countries, large and small, that have submitted specific national pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, UN agencies ICAO and IMO have exempted themselves from the process, they say, despite regulating international CO2 emissions comparable to those of large countries like Germany and the UK. They also criticise the US administration over its silence on the slow progress at ICAO in crafting a global measure to tackle aviation emissions. Liese and Groote played senior roles in the European Parliament's environment committee in steering EU legislation on aviation's inclusion into the EU ETS, facing stiff US opposition along the way. Read more ...

Penalty stands, rules UK adjudicator as Jet Airways loses second appeal over Aviation EU ETS compliance | Jet Airways,Air India,Aeroflot,Saudi Arabian Airlines
Penalty stands, rules UK adjudicator as Jet Airways loses second appeal over Aviation EU ETS compliance
Tue 10 Nov 2015 - An appeal by India's Jet Airways against a civil penalty of 15,000 euros ($16,000) imposed by the UK government for failing to meet the Aviation EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) deadline for the year 2012 has been dismissed by an adjudicator. This follows the failure of an earlier appeal in which the airline had argued that it should not have to comply with the scheme because of instructions it had received from the Indian authorities. Since that ruling in April, Jet Airways has opened an Aircraft Operator Handling Account (AOHA) and surrendered the necessary allowances to cover its intra-EEA emissions not only for 2012 but also for 2013 and 2014, so is now in compliance with EU ETS regulations. However, the adjudicator rejected the airline's second appeal that it was prevented from complying by the due date because of its government's instructions. Read more ...

Final draft negotiating text for Paris climate summit reinserts "unambitious" reference to international aviation | COP21
Final draft negotiating text for Paris climate summit reinserts "unambitious" reference to international aviation
Mon 26 Oct 2015 - References to international aviation and shipping have been reinserted into the latest draft negotiating text agreed at the final climate meeting of the UNFCCC in Bonn before COP21 begins at the end of next month in Paris. Text relating to the two sectors was included in a 86-page draft text that came out of talks held in Geneva in February but a slimmed-down version released earlier this month omitted the paragraphs entirely. The new references are believed to have been inserted following pressure by the European Union and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). However, the earlier text that called for global sectoral emission reduction targets be set for the two sectors has been heavily watered down and merely calls on parties to "pursue limitation or reduction" of emissions, working through ICAO and IMO. Industry and ICAO will also be relieved that earlier text calling for a levy scheme be imposed to provide climate finance has not been included. Read more ...

Adelaide Airport to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent with new rooftop solar power system | Adelaide Airport,solar
Adelaide Airport to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent with new rooftop solar power system
Fri 6 Nov 2015 - Adelaide Airport is to build what it claims will be the largest airport rooftop solar power system in Australia and is expected to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by close to 10 per cent. The 1.17MW system is to be built on the short term car park roof by Solgen Energy and will be more than 10 times larger than the airport's existing system, bringing the total rooftop solar capacity to 1.28MW. Made up of 4,500 panels - enough to power the equivalent of more than 300 homes - it will be the largest private-sector solar system in South Australia. As part of its drive to be the most environmentally friendly airport in Australia, Adelaide has become the country's first to be certified at the third level of the industry Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. Read more ...

Scottish EU-funded project launched that will help remote and rural airports to reduce their carbon footprint | HITRANS,SPARA 2020,HIAL
Scottish EU-funded project launched that will help remote and rural airports to reduce their carbon footprint
Thu 5 Nov 2015 - A three-year, 2.4 million euro ($2.6m) project has been launched in Scotland to heighten awareness of the importance to rural and remote communities of local air services and to use innovative technologies to make them as cost effective and environmentally friendly as possible. The Smart Peripheral and Remote Airports 2020 (SPARA 2020) project will include two work strands to foster more sustainable energy use at airports in the Scottish Highlands and Islands region to include electric vehicle surface access and the possibility of offering biofuels to airlines serving those airports. The project is part of the EU's Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPAP) with funding of 1.5 million euros coming from a grant from the European Regional Development Fund. The NPAP aims to help peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe to develop their economic, social and environmental potential. Read more ...

Cathay Pacific achieves 4.5% improvement in fuel efficiency as it makes progress on sustainability performance | Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific achieves 4.5% improvement in fuel efficiency as it makes progress on sustainability performance
Fri 30 Oct 2015 - Cathay Pacific achieved a 4.5 per cent improvement in the fuel efficiency of its passenger and cargo operations in 2014 over the previous year, according to the airline group's latest annual sustainability report. Since 1998, the overall revenue-tonne-kilometre (RTK) fuel efficiency performance has improved by 22.8 per cent. In addition to a contribution from a higher load factor in 2014, the airline attributes the progress to ongoing fleet modernisation and flight efficiency measures such as single-engine taxiing and onboard weight reductions. However, as a result of growth in capacity, CO2 emissions from fuel burn for Cathay Pacific and sister airline Dragonair increased from 15.5 million tonnes in 2013 to 16.4 million tonnes in 2014 (+5.8 per cent), the group's first rise in total emissions since 2011. Read more ...

Plentiful supply of quality offsets can meet international aviation demand under ICAO global carbon scheme | Oeko,REDD+,Verified Carbon Standard
Plentiful supply of quality offsets can meet international aviation demand under ICAO global carbon scheme
Thu 29 Oct 2015 - Concern that there will be an insufficient supply of quality carbon offsets to meet demand under a global market-based mechanism (GMBM) for international aviation appears groundless, according to analysis by Oeko-Institut. The UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is the largest source of credits, with more than 7,500 projects registered to date. The German research organisation found that credits from the pipeline of existing CDM projects could cover international aviation demand for a period of at least eight years from the potential start of the scheme in 2021 even if tight eligibility requirements are introduced. Meanwhile, some in the airline sector are pushing for REDD+ forestry credits to be also included in the GMBM. Eligibility criteria for offset units under the GMBM is currently under scrutiny by an ICAO expert working group tasked with ensuring the environmental integrity of the scheme. Read more ...

Overall industry progress as Alaska, Spirit, Frontier and Southwest again lead ICCT's US airline fuel efficiency rankings | ICCT
Overall industry progress as Alaska, Spirit, Frontier and Southwest again lead ICCT's US airline fuel efficiency rankings
Fri 23 Oct 2015 - For the second year running, Alaska, Spirit, Frontier and Southwest remained the top four most fuel-efficient airlines on US domestic operations in 2014, according to the annual rankings study carried out by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). After slowing in recent years, overall industry fuel efficiency improved by 1.7 per cent from 2013 to 2014 on a revenue passenger mile (RPM) basis, largely as a result of a 1 per cent gain in passenger load and 1.6 per cent increase in seating density. Airlines also implemented fleet renewal programmes that for the first time since 2010 slightly reduced the average age of aircraft used on domestic flights to 11.5 years. One clear trend is the slowly but steadily increasing number of seats per aircraft, or upgauging, which has the effect of increasing fuel efficiency but, points out ICCT, at the cost of reduced passenger comfort and access to flights. Read more ...

UK aviation minister urges airlines to phase out older aircraft over environmental and climate concerns | Robert Goodwill,Aerodays
UK aviation minister urges airlines to phase out older aircraft over environmental and climate concerns
Wed 21 Oct 2015 - As aircraft and engine technology improves, pressure should be kept up on airlines to replace aging aircraft and invest in the newest models so that the environmental benefits can be realised as soon as possible, said UK Minister for Aviation Robert Goodwill yesterday at the Aerodays conference in London. Addressing Europe's flagship aerospace research event, Goodwill said the sector’s history of innovation and invention was needed more than ever to respond with new technology and processes to make aviation less harmful to the environment and human health. In the light of the VW scandal, Goodwill said it would sharpen regulatory focus on manufacturers' emission claims. He also stressed the importance of achieving a global agreement at ICAO next year on a market-based measure for international aviation carbon emissions. Read more ...

Radical thinking and technology breakthroughs needed to meet aviation's long-term carbon reduction goal | United Airlines,Cathay Pacific,Fulcrum Energy,LanzaTech,ATAG2015
Radical thinking and technology breakthroughs needed to meet aviation's long-term carbon reduction goal
Sun 18 Oct 2015 - The commercialisation and uptake of sustainable aviation biofuels might take longer than was previously hoped but patience and a long-term view was urged by industry experts at the recent Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva. ATAG Executive Director Michael Gill said around 20 airlines, which together had so far carried out over 2,000 biofuel flights, had shown leadership by committing to the development of an important energy supply and were leading the way for airlines. Representatives from United Airlines and Cathay Pacific said they had been motivated to separately invest in a US biofuel company by the need to accelerate progress in growing an aviation biofuels industry and to provide support for those companies seeking initial capital for projects. Another session at the conference heard that achieving the industry's long-term carbon reduction goal would require both continuous incremental efficiency gains and radical technology breakthroughs. Read more ...

Australia’s rugby union team tackle their flying carbon footprint through the Qantas offset programme | Qantas
Australia’s rugby union team tackle their flying carbon footprint through the Qantas offset programme
Fri 16 Oct 2015 - Australian Rugby Union (ARU), whose team is currently competing at the Rugby World Cup tournament in England, is to offset its travel carbon footprint through the Qantas Fly Carbon Neutral programme. As well as the national team, the Qantas Wallabies - as they are known under their sponsorship agreement with the airline - includes the Sevens and junior representative teams, and together they fly several million kilometres each year, says ARU. The offset programme, which Qantas claims is the largest of its kind in the world, supports projects that include the conservation of 7,000 hectares of Tasmanian forest, wildlife protection and the empowerment of rainforest communities in Papua New Guinea. Read more ...

Aviation industry climate action report spotlights global projects undertaken to reduce carbon emissions | ATAG2015
Aviation industry climate action report spotlights global projects undertaken to reduce carbon emissions
Thu 15 Oct 2015 - The industry coalition Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has published a report to promote the sector's sustainable development through case studies involving 100 carbon-reducing initiatives by over 400 organisations in 65 countries. Although it looks at the large step-change technological advances in new aircraft entering the global fleet, the 'Aviation Climate Solutions' report highlights smaller energy efficiency projects that ATAG Executive Director Michael Gill calls the marginal gains industry needs to make if it is to achieve its climate targets. Gill revealed at the report's launch that the near-term goal of an average 1.5 per cent annual efficiency improvement from 2009 to 2020 was currently tracking at 2.9 per cent. However, he expected this to "normalise" over the next few years. Read more ...

Industry pledges to do more to address the concerns of local communities impacted by aviation noise | Noise,ATAG2015
Industry pledges to do more to address the concerns of local communities impacted by aviation noise
Mon 12 Oct 2015 - The air transport industry must do more to address the concerns of local communities about aviation noise and work together to find solutions if it is to maintain the support of governments and the general public as part of its licence to operate, says Angela Gittens, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI). The trade association for the world's airports has joined with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) to publish a best-practice guide that examines the challenges as well as the methods airport operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) can use to manage and reduce aviation noise. A session on community engagement at the recent Global Sustainable Aviation Summit focused on why the issue continues to fester with local residents despite industry efforts and quieter aircraft. Read more ...

New Paris draft agreement removes text on international aviation CO2 reduction targets and climate finance | COP21,ATAG2015
New Paris draft agreement removes text on international aviation CO2 reduction targets and climate finance
Thu 8 Oct 2015 - References to international aviation and shipping have been left out of the newly slimmed-down draft agreement for negotiation at the UNFCCC COP21 climate talks in Paris that start at the end of next month. The previous 83-page draft, now down to just 20 pages, had text calling for global CO2 emission reduction targets be set for the two sectors as well as a levy scheme to be applied to each that would provide funding towards climate adaptation for poorer nations. The omission will be welcomed by sister UN agency ICAO, which has long warned that a levy on top of the global carbon offsetting measure to cap the net growth of international aviation emissions that is expected to start from 2020 could drain financial resources from the sector. NGOs, on the other hand, have called the exclusion irresponsible as it leaves the two high-growth emitting sectors free from fuel taxes and climate targets. Read more ...

Positive outcome at Paris COP will be crucial in progress of aviation global carbon measure, says ICAO chief | ATAG2015,Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu
Positive outcome at Paris COP will be crucial in progress of aviation global carbon measure, says ICAO chief
Fri 2 Oct 2015 - A successful outcome from the upcoming UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris will be crucial in encouraging ICAO Member States to make further progress on reducing emissions from international aviation, said Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of ICAO's governing Council, at an aviation industry conference. The Environment Advisory Group (EAG), comprising 17 Council representatives, is currently overseeing the development of a global market-based measure (MBM) to limit the sector's growth of net emissions from the sector from 2020 but headway is slow on political aspects of the scheme. With a decision required by countries at the ICAO Assembly in a year's time on implementation, industry leaders at the conference warned against allowing timelines to slip and a loss in momentum. Environmental NGOs also called on ICAO States to stand by their commitment to deliver the scheme. Read more ...

Industry and governments must do more to reduce the rapid growth in aviation emissions, finds study | New Climate Economy
Industry and governments must do more to reduce the rapid growth in aviation emissions, finds study
Fri 25 Sep 2015 - Despite advances, there is a large untapped potential for fuel efficiency gains that would cut costs and reduce emissions in the aviation sector, finds an aviation and shipping study by the New Climate Economy, a flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Saving fuel has major economic benefits as well as reducing emissions and the paper cites the example of American Airlines, which has invested $300 million in efficiency measures since 2005 while saving $1.5 billion in fuel costs. Aviation and shipping now produce 5 per cent of global carbon emissions and by 2050 that share could rise to 32 per cent, and this fast growth could undermine global efforts to keep warming under 2 degrees C, warn the authors. Progress within both the international civil aviation and shipping UN agencies ICAO and IMO needs to be dramatically accelerated, says the Global Commission. Read more ...

Acceleration of fuel efficiency programme helps Qantas make up ground on environmental target | Qantas,Jetstar
Acceleration of fuel efficiency programme helps Qantas make up ground on environmental target
Thu 24 Sep 2015 - The fuel efficiency of the Qantas Group - which includes low-fares carrier Jetstar - has improved 5 per cent overall since 2009, which is below the Group's own target of an average 1.5 per cent improvement per year. However, says the airline in its latest Annual Review, progress in better performance is expected with continued fleet renewal and ongoing fuel burn reduction initiatives. As part of the Qantas Transformation programme, the airline has accelerated an existing fuel efficiency and optimisation programme that helped reduce total carbon emissions by 2.1 per cent during the Group's 2014/15 financial year. The average age of the fleet has been reduced from 7.9 years in 2012/13 to a current 7.7 years, and from 2017 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will start to replace older 747s on international routes. Qantas believes that over the longer term, biofuels present the biggest opportunity to achieve major reductions in carbon emissions. Read more ...

Fuel efficiency and emissions reporting software company Aviaso acquired by Honeywell Aerospace | Aviaso,Honeywell Aerospace
Fuel efficiency and emissions reporting software company Aviaso acquired by Honeywell Aerospace
Thu 24 Sep 2015 - Fuel efficiency and emissions savings software provider Aviaso has been acquired by global aerospace company Honeywell. The former privately held company was founded in 2007, employs 40 people in Zurich and Sofia, Bulgaria, and has around 20 airline clients, mostly in Europe. Its products gather data on aircraft usage in order to identify and communicate ways airline customers can save fuel consumption through an intuitive software interface. The company also provides software for emissions reporting, as well as consulting for fuel efficiency and emissions management. Honeywell says the acquisition will strengthen its product portfolio as well as broadening its presence in Europe. Rival fuel efficiency software company ETS Aviation was acquired by Boeing last year and integrated within its Jeppesen UK subsidiary. Read more ...

Industry, NGOs and governments to discuss global aviation environmental and climate issues at Geneva meeting | ATAG Summit
Industry, NGOs and governments to discuss global aviation environmental and climate issues at Geneva meeting
Thu 24 Sep 2015 – The aviation industry gathers next week in Geneva for the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit, hosted by the cross-sector Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). The conference will look ahead to the December UNFCCC climate negotiations in Paris and the impact the outcome might have in the lead up to the next ICAO Assembly in little over a year's time, when countries are hoping to reach a global agreement on a market-based measure (MBM) to address international aviation emissions. It will also tackle a range of other environmental issues such as sustainable alternative aviation fuels, aircraft noise, new technologies and emerging environmental Issues. Keynote speakers include Solar Impulse CEO and pilot Andre Borschberg and Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council. Read more ...

New aircraft fuel efficiency improvements return to historical average but lag ICAO fuel burn goals, finds ICCT report | ICCT
New aircraft fuel efficiency improvements return to historical average but lag ICAO fuel burn goals, finds ICCT report
Fri 18 Sep 2015 - Despite progress in aircraft fuel efficiency performance, airframe and engine manufacturers are currently lagging behind goals established at ICAO for medium and long term technology advances in fuel burn reduction, according to analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The environmental research NGO has undertaken a study into the fuel efficiency improvement of commercial jet aircraft from 1960 to 2014 and has found the rate of improvement to vary greatly over the period. The biggest gains were made during the 1980s, when average annual fuel efficiency improved by 2.6 per cent, whereas little or no improvement was seen during the 1970s and in the period from 1995 to 2005. Overall, the average fuel burn of new aircraft between 1968 and 2014 reduced by a compound annual reduction rate of 1.3 per cent and with new aircraft types coming to market, the short term trend is a return to the historical average, predicts ICCT. Read more ...

Partnerships are a key driver to achieving international aviation climate goals, says new ICAO Secretary General | E-GAP,Fang Liu
Partnerships are a key driver to achieving international aviation climate goals, says new ICAO Secretary General
Thu 17 Sep 2015 - With the expected future growth in aviation traffic, it is essential to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of air transport tomorrow on an environmentally sustainable basis, said ICAO's new Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu, in a keynote address yesterday to an environmental seminar held by the UN civil aviation agency. The seminar is taking place in advance of a major UN summit in New York next week that is expected to adopt global Sustainable Development Goals effective from 2016, and sessions of the seminar have been aligned to the appropriate goals. The event has also been planned to showcase actions by the international aviation sector to reduce emissions ahead of the forthcoming Paris COP climate conference. Former ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez told delegates that international aviation CO2 emissions were projected to grow by more than four times over the next 30 years unless urgent action was taken under all of ICAO's 'basket of measures'. Read more ...

First flight imminent as South African tobacco crop to jet biofuel project earns RSB sustainability approval | Project Solaris,Sunchem,South African Airways,SkyNRG,Alitalia
First flight imminent as South African tobacco crop to jet biofuel project earns RSB sustainability approval
Mon 14 Sep 2015 - The South African 'Project Solaris' initiative that is developing an energy-rich tobacco crop for use as a feedstock for producing aviation biofuel has been awarded certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). The project, formally launched in late 2014, has involved RSB from the start so as to ensure its standards have been incorporated into all aspects of the supply chain to ensure environmental and social sustainability. The patented nicotine-free and GMO-free Solaris oil seed is owned by Italian company Sunchem Holdings, and the other main partners in project - Boeing, SkyNRG and South African Airways (SAA) - are planning to use first quantities of jet biofuel produced from the crop within the next few months on a flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Sunchem is also planning to launch a similar supply chain in Italy to produce sustainable jet biofuel. Read more ...

Miami International embarks on major $32m two-year energy efficiency project | Miami International Airport,Dallas Fort-Worth Airport
Miami International embarks on major $32m two-year energy efficiency project
Fri 11 Sep 2015 - Miami International Airport (MIA) has launched what it claims to be one of the largest energy-saving programmes ever undertaken in Florida and the eastern United States. Over the next two years, the project will spend $32 million on installing air conditioning and ventilation upgrades, water conservation retrofits, energy-efficient lighting and other green initiatives. It is expected to result in savings of more than $40 million in utility costs over the 14 years of an agreement with Florida-based FPL Services and is part of a commitment to reduce the airport's annual carbon footprint by 20 per cent and water consumption by 28 million gallons. Meanwhile, Dallas-Fort Worth has been newly certified at Level 3 Optimisation under the industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, the highest level so far achieved by a North American airport.  Read more ...

FAA awards $100 million in next CLEEN phase to aid development of green aircraft and biofuel technologies | CLEEN
FAA awards $100 million in next CLEEN phase to aid development of green aircraft and biofuel technologies
Thu 10 Sep 2015 - The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has marked the launch of the second phase of its Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN II) programme by awarding $100 million to eight companies to develop and demonstrate technologies that reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The companies are expected to match or exceed the FAA's investment and so bring the total CLEEN II funding to in excess of $200 million. One of the goals of the second phase is to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in fuel burn relative to the most efficient aircraft in service during the year 2000 and the FAA anticipates that technologies developed under the programme will be on a path for introduction into commercial aircraft by 2026.  Read more ...

UK parliamentary committee opens inquiry into environmental implications of runway expansion | AEF,Airports Commission,Committee on Climate Change,Environmental Audit Committee
UK parliamentary committee opens inquiry into environmental implications of runway expansion
Thu 27 Aug 2015 - As the UK Government deliberates the 340-page report submitted by its own appointed Airports Commission and the recommendation for allowing Heathrow Airport to build a new third runway, the House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the carbon, air quality and noise implications of airport expansion. The committee has invited submissions - which are required by September 3 - on whether the policies and mitigations proposed by the Commission are realistic and achievable, and what consequences they have for Government policy. NGOs such as the Aviation Environment Federation remain fiercely opposed to a new runway around London and have questioned the Commission's justification that expansion can be achieved within UK aviation carbon emission targets.  Read more ...

Kerala's Cochin makes claim to being the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy | Cochin International Airport,Alice Springs Airport,solar
Kerala's Cochin makes claim to being the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy
Wed 26 Aug 2015 - Cochin International (CIAL) in Kerala, India, claims to be the first airport in the world to be fully operated by solar power following the inauguration of a new 12 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar power plant. Comprising 46,150 solar panels situated on a 45-acre (18ha) site near the cargo complex, along with other solar plants already installed at the airport, around 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity are expected to be generated daily to cover all power requirements. CIAL installed the first solar plant in March 2013 on the roof of the arrival terminal, producing 100kWp, followed by a 1 MWp plant partly situated on the roof of the aircraft maintenance facility and partly on the ground. Meanwhile, Alice Springs Airport in Australia has announced a A$1.9 million ($1.3m) project to complete one of the largest airport solar systems in the country. Both airports say solar power will enhance the sustainable development of their operations. Read more ...

Heathrow trials steeper approaches for landing aircraft in efforts to reduce noise on the ground | Heathrow,Fly Quiet,HACAN
Heathrow trials steeper approaches for landing aircraft in efforts to reduce noise on the ground
Wed 19 Aug 2015 - London's Heathrow has started trialling steeper approaches for aircraft landing at the airport in efforts to reduce noise for residents on the ground. The international standard set by ICAO for most airports is a glide path of 3 degrees and the trial, which has been approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, will involve aircraft approaching at an angle of 3.2 degrees approximately 8 nautical miles (10 miles) from touchdown and will be used on all four runway approaches. The trial, which runs until 16 March 2016, will test whether approaches of up to 3.5 degrees at the airport are possible. Although optional, Heathrow is confident that a large number of airlines with the necessary onboard navigational equipment fitted to their aircraft will take part in the trial. Frankfurt Airport started a similar trial in October 2012, although the results are still being evaluated. Read more ...

Fuel and emissions savings from Sea-Tac Greener Skies precision approach initiative exceed expectations | Alaska Airlines,GreenerSkies,NextGen
Fuel and emissions savings from Sea-Tac Greener Skies precision approach initiative exceed expectations
Mon 17 Aug 2015 - Reductions in fuel burn and emissions from new navigation procedures used by Alaska Airlines on approaches into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are about 28 per cent greater than was initially projected, finds a Boeing report. Launched in 2010, the 'Greener Skies Over Seattle' initiative is a collaboration under the FAA's NextGen airspace modernisation programme that involves Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures and greater use of Optimised Profile Descents to enhance operational efficiency. By comparing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft descent to the airport using Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures with a standard approach turn procedure, each arrival can save 589 gallons of fuel and 1,858 pounds (843kg) in emissions, says Boeing. Meanwhile, Alaska has been recognised for its noise reduction and abatement efforts at Sea-Tac with the airport's Fly Quiet Bravo Award for 2014. Read more ...
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Airport carbon scheme enters seventh year with global ambitions and 125 airports accredited | ACI,Airport Carbon Accreditation
Airport carbon scheme enters seventh year with global ambitions and 125 airports accredited
Fri 14 Aug 2015 - The industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme now includes 125 airports in 40 countries as it extends its reach globally, reveals the sixth annual report published by trade body Airports Council International (ACI). First started by ACI's European region in June 2009, the programme has been taken up during the past year by North America so that all ACI regions now have airports reporting and taking steps to reduce carbon emissions. ACI says around 1.7 billion passengers, representing 27.5 per cent of global air passenger traffic, now pass through airports accredited under the programme, which certifies those airports at one of four different levels covering all stages of carbon management. Key facts and figures from the annual report are featured in a newly-launched microsite that also includes an award-winning animation video. Read more ...

Long-term exposure to aircraft emissions causes around 16,000 premature deaths a year, finds MIT study | Massachusetts Institute of Technology,Steven Barrett
Long-term exposure to aircraft emissions causes around 16,000 premature deaths a year, finds MIT study
Fri 7 Aug 2015 - Fine particulate matter and ozone emissions from civil aircraft are responsible for around 16,000 premature deaths annually across the world, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. The team found the greatest impact on air quality and health was caused by emissions in the cruise phase of flights, except in Europe and North America where landing and take-off (LTO) emissions were equally as important in terms of health impact. Assigning a monetary value, it was calculated that premature deaths from long-term exposure to aviation emissions could be costed at around $21 billion a year. The researchers found that air quality costs of aviation were in the same order of magnitude as those from climate and considerably higher than costs from accidents and noise. Read more ...

Major European Airbus operators take steps to avoid A320 whistle noise nuisance | Vortex generator
Major European Airbus operators take steps to avoid A320 whistle noise nuisance
Wed 5 Aug 2015 - Lufthansa has now retrofitted the 100th aircraft belonging to its Airbus 320 family fleet with a noise-reducing component called a vortex generator. Peculiar to this aircraft type, a distinctive high-pitched noise - similar to the sound created when blowing over the mouth of a bottle - is created when air passes over circular pressure equalisation vents for the fuel tanks located under each wing, just before landing gear and flaps are deployed for landing. Complaints have been made across the world by residents surrounding airports - the noise can emanate up to some considerable distance from touch-down. After a number of years of research by Lufthansa and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), a simple 5cm piece of sheet metal mounted upstream of the vents has shown to solve the problem. Other airlines are now carrying out programmes to retrofit their narrow-body Airbus aircraft with the component, including Air France, British Airways and easyJet. Read more ...
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Fly Green Fund launched to help kick-start sustainable jet fuel market in Nordic region | SkyNRG,KLM,NISA,Karlstad Airport,SAS,Braathens,Swedavia
Fly Green Fund launched to help kick-start sustainable jet fuel market in Nordic region
Tue 4 Aug 2015 - In efforts to kick-start a local sustainable jet fuel market, aviation and biofuel interests in the Nordic countries have launched the Fly Green Fund, which will enable organisations and individuals when taking flights to financially contribute towards the development of aviation biofuel supplies in the region. The fund's founders are Amsterdam-based sustainable aviation biofuel supplier SkyNRG, Karlstad Airport in Sweden, where the region’s first 'bioport' is expected to be established, and the Nordic Initiative on Sustainable Aviation (NISA). Launch partners include Swedavia, SAS, Braathens, KLM and EFS European Flight Service, a leading Scandinavian business aviation company. The fund was announced during a political week held annually in Sweden called Almedalen. Read more ...

United Airlines signs up first corporate customer for its carbon offset programme | United Airlines,Sustainable Travel International,Wyndham
United Airlines signs up first corporate customer for its carbon offset programme
Fri 31 Jul 2015 - Wyndham Worldwide has become the launch partner for United Airlines' Eco-Skies CarbonChoice corporate carbon offset programme. This will enable the hospitality company to track and offset the emissions stemming from its business travel and freight shipments on United at the enterprise level. Participating customers in the programme receive customised carbon emissions reports and can purchase independently verified offsets, effectively allowing them to travel and ship carbon neutral, says United. Through United's partnership with Sustainable Travel International, the offsets enable participants to support projects designed to reduce greenhouse gases as well as provide social and economic benefits to communities where those projects are located. Read more ...

Lufthansa Group records good progress in fuel efficiency performance towards 2020 environmental goal | Lufthansa,Swiss,Germanwings,Austrian Airlines
Lufthansa Group records good progress in fuel efficiency performance towards 2020 environmental goal
Fri 31 Jul 2015 - Absolute carbon emissions from airlines within the Lufthansa Group rose by 0.7 per cent to 27.8 million tonnes in 2014 as a result of increased operations but overall fuel efficiency in passenger transportation continued to improve, reaching a record 3.84 litres per 100 passenger kilometres (l/100 pkm). Specific fuel consumption has been steadily falling on an annual basis and the achievement in 2014 was a 1.6 per cent improvement on the previous year, and therefore ahead of the industry-wide 1.5 per cent short-term annual efficiency target. With jet fuel being its largest individual cost item, the Group last year set up a fuel efficiency unit as part of the new Operations Efficiency & Strategy department that aims to achieve even greater gains. With 272 aircraft expected to join the fleet over the next 10 years, the Group expects new models such as the Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-9X to bring specific fuel consumption down to the 3 litre mark. Read more ...

US study finds link between climate and flight times results in higher fuel consumption and emissions | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,University of Reading
US study finds link between climate and flight times results in higher fuel consumption and emissions
Fri 24 Jul 2015 - The contribution of emissions from commercial aviation to climate change has been widely researched, although uncertainties still remain over the warming impact of aircraft at altitude. But what effect may a warming planet have on air travel itself? Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Wisconsin Madison believe they have found a connection between climate and longer airline flight times that adds significantly to fuel consumption and emissions. In turn, says WHOI's Kris Karnauskas, who led the study that has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the consequent additional input of CO2 into the atmosphere can feed back and amplify emerging changes in atmospheric circulation. The study looked at every flight between Honolulu and three US West Coast airports over the past 20 years and compared data with flight times and daily wind speeds at cruising altitudes. Read more ...

ATR demonstrator starts flight testing of green regional aircraft technologies as part of Clean Sky initiative | Alenia,ATR,Clean Sky
ATR demonstrator starts flight testing of green regional aircraft technologies as part of Clean Sky initiative
Fri 24 Jul 2015 - The first flight has taken place of the 'green' ATR 72 Flying Demonstrator as part of a European Clean Sky programme to test new and more effective composite insulating materials and acoustic damping on regional aircraft. The demonstrator has been conceived by ATR and its joint shareholder Alenia Aermacchi, and an entire aluminium section of the upper fuselage on the test aircraft has been replaced with an innovative composite panel. Embedded in the panel is a layer to provide additional acoustic damping as well as two different technologies for structural health monitoring (SHM). The overall objective of the initiative, which is expected to include six flights, is to reduce aircraft weight, fuel consumption, noise and CO2 and NOx emissions in regional aircraft. Read more ...

FedEx joins Southwest as airline customers for Red Rock’s woody biomass to renewable jet fuel product | Red Rock Biofuels,FedEx
FedEx joins Southwest as airline customers for Red Rock’s woody biomass to renewable jet fuel product
Thu 23 Jul 2015 - FedEx Express has agreed to purchase three million gallons of renewable jet fuel annually over eight years from Colorado-based Red Rock Biofuels. This matches a similar agreement made in 2014 between the woody biomass to jet fuel company and Southwest Airlines. The two carriers will take Red Rock's total jet fuel production from its new refinery in Lakeview, Oregon, which is expected to come online in 2017 after construction starts later this year. Partly funded by a $70 million grant from the US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy, the $200 million refinery will convert around 140,000 tonnes of locally-sourced woody biomass into 15 million gallons per year of renewable jet, diesel and naphtha fuels. Read more ...

E-Fan cross-Channel flight could herald a green future for hybrid-electric passenger aircraft | Airbus E-Fan,Airbus E-Thrust
E-Fan cross-Channel flight could herald a green future for hybrid-electric passenger aircraft
Thu 23 Jul 2015 - Following in the steps of Louis Bleriot's pioneering cross-Channel flight 106 years ago, the recent flight of Airbus Group's all-electric E-Fan technology demonstrator aircraft in the opposite direction - between Lydd Airport on England's south coast and Calais Airport - could herald a new era in green aviation travel. The E-Fan is a key element in the European aircraft manufacturer's electric aircraft roadmap towards achieving emission-free and almost noiseless flight and is targeting advanced technological breakthroughs that could one day bring hybrid-electric propulsion to passenger aircraft. While Airbus is now working towards commercialisation of two-seater and four-seater versions of the E-Fan, it is also collaborating in a long-term project with Rolls-Royce on a completely new regional aircraft design incorporating a radically more efficient electrical distributed propulsion system that would result in significantly lower fuel consumption, fewer emissions and less noise. Read more ...

Air India hit with UK fine for failing to comply with Aviation EU ETS | Air India,Jet Airways,Saudia,Aeroflot
Air India hit with UK fine for failing to comply with Aviation EU ETS
Thu 16 Jul 2015 - Air India and four other aircraft operators have received civil penalties totalling £95,456 ($150,000) by the UK authorities for non-compliance with the Aviation EU ETS for the year 2012. They were deemed not to have surrendered sufficient allowances to cover their annual reportable emissions by the end of April 2013. Two of the operators have since come into compliance and surrendered allowances for the three years 2012-14 but on government instructions, Air India has so far refused to conform with the scheme. An Indian government official told GreenAir that it was unlikely the airline would pay the penalty and the issue would have to be dealt with at a diplomatic level. Another Indian airline that reports to the UK on the EU ETS, Jet Airways, recently lost an appeal against a similar fine but has since come into compliance and does not appear on the list of penalty notices. Read more ...

Japanese initiative plots map to commercialisation of aviation biofuels in time for 2020 Tokyo Olympics | INAF
Japanese initiative plots map to commercialisation of aviation biofuels in time for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Wed 15 Jul 2015 - Boeing and a consortium of Japanese aviation and other industry organisations, together with academic and government bodies, have published a roadmap report that aims for commercial production of sustainable aviation biofuels in Japan in time for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. The report identifies potential raw material and technology routes that could provide sufficient quantities of alternative fuel supplies within the next five years. The roadmap is the result of a year-long study and collaboration by 46 members of the Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF) - which includes All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines and the University of Tokyo, as well as Boeing. The report accepts the current price differential with conventional jet fuel is a major barrier to commercialisation and says policy incentives are a prerequisite to success in aviation biofuel use. Read more ...

United becomes second airline investor in US household waste to renewable jet fuel company Fulcrum | United Airlines,Fulcrum,AltAir,Abengoa
United becomes second airline investor in US household waste to renewable jet fuel company Fulcrum
Thu 9 Jul 2015 - In what it describes as the single largest investment by a US airline in alternative aviation fuels, United has taken an equity stake valued at $30 million in waste-to-biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy. The two have also agreed to jointly develop up to five projects located near United's hubs that would be expected to produce up to 180 million gallons a year. Subject to availability, United will additionally have the opportunity to purchase at least 90 million gallons of jet biofuel a year for a minimum of 10 years at a price competitive with conventional fuel. This is the second major investment in Fulcrum by an airline, following an agreement signed in August 2014 with Cathay Pacific that included an equity stake and a long-term biofuel supply arrangement. Read more ...

Airports Commission recommends third runway at Heathrow but with environmental conditions attached | Airports Commission
Airports Commission recommends third runway at Heathrow but with environmental conditions attached
Thu 2 Jul 2015 - The UK Government-appointed Airports Commission has come down in favour of a new third northwest runway at London’s Heathrow Airport as providing the best option in terms of benefiting the national economy and international air transport connectivity. However, the Commission recommends a number of measures, some legally enforced, to address Heathrow's impacts on the local environment and communities. These include a night-time ban on scheduled flights between 2330 and 0600, a 'noise envelope' that stipulates no overall increase above current levels, a new aviation noise charge or levy used to compensate local communities, the formation of a community engagement board and an independent aviation noise authority.  Read more ...

Virgin Atlantic's carbon emissions continue to decline as new aircraft make impact on fuel efficiency | Virgin Atlantic,LanzaTech
Virgin Atlantic's carbon emissions continue to decline as new aircraft make impact on fuel efficiency
Fri 26 Jun 2015 - Virgin Atlantic says it is on course to meet its 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions per revenue tonne kilometre (RTK) by 30 per cent from a 2007 baseline. Largely as a result of heavy investment in new, more fuel-efficient Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the reduction in CO2 per RTK to 2014 stands at 10 per cent. The airline acknowledges it is halfway through the target period and only a third of the way in reaching the goal but believes the additional 787-9 Dreamliners about to join the fleet and other fuel efficiency initiatives will pay off. Despite operating more flights and carrying more passengers than any year since 2007, absolute emissions in 2014 were 12 per cent below the baseline. Virgin Atlantic's latest 'Change is in the Air' sustainability report also reveals the carrier, the first to set itself noise reduction targets, managed to lower its average noise output per aircraft movement by over 2dB last year. Read more ...

Schiphol’s switch to alternatively powered vehicles boosted by new fleet of electric passenger buses | Schiphol Group,BYD
Schiphol’s switch to alternatively powered vehicles boosted by new fleet of electric passenger buses
Fri 26 Jun 2015 - Schiphol Airport has started operating 35 electric buses to transport passengers between aircraft and gate, with each bus having its own solar-panelled charging point, so making the airport the biggest charging station for electric buses in Europe. The buses, three of which entered service in 2014, are part of the SUBSS (Sustainable Bus System of Schiphol) project and will replace an ageing fleet of conventionally powered vehicles. They were designed especially for and in collaboration with the airport and supplied by Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, whose European headquarters are in nearby Rotterdam. Schiphol is focusing on stimulating clean transport both airside and in passenger travel to and from the airport, and now boasts the largest fleet of electrically powered taxis of any airport in the world. Read more ...

NASA signs research agreement with DLR on aircraft noise reduction and funds supersonic flight studies | DLR,NASA,supersonic
NASA signs research agreement with DLR on aircraft noise reduction and funds supersonic flight studies
Thu 25 Jun 2015 - US aerospace agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have agreed to collaborate on research into advanced methods for predicting aircraft system noise and establish validation guidelines for comparison between the two institutions. A reduction in aircraft noise without adversely affecting the environment or fuel efficiency is a major challenge, they say, but needs to be solved to enable further growth of air transport in the face of more stringent environmental challenges. Last year, NASA and DLR worked together with the Canadian National Research Council to study the effects of alternative aviation fuels at cruise altitudes on emissions and contrail formation. NASA has also separately announced funding for research into quieter, greener supersonic travel that will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets. Read more ...

Boeing’s next phase of its ecoDemonstrator 757 programme includes flight using US-sourced green diesel blend | Boeing ecoDemonstrator,NASA,green diesel,TUI,Diamond Green Diesel
Boeing’s next phase of its ecoDemonstrator 757 programme includes flight using US-sourced green diesel blend
Wed 24 Jun 2015 - The next phase has started of Boeing's ecoDemonstrator programme involving a 757 loaned by leisure airline TUI that is focused on testing two new environment-related technologies and aviation biofuel. Boeing is collaborating with NASA on the programme and last week a test flight took place from Seattle to NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia that was powered using a blended sustainable green diesel fuel. Boeing first carried out a test flight using green diesel last December on the previous ecoDemonstrator 787 programme but this is the first to use a US-sourced supply. The other new technologies being tested involve 'energy harvesting' windows and a 3D-printed flight deck component made with excess carbon fibre taken from 787 production. Boeing has also released its latest annual Environmental Report that highlights performance and other technology innovations. Read more ...

New London runway would allow aviation emissions to soar beyond UK carbon target, argues AEF report | AEF,Airports Commission,Committee on Climate Change
New London runway would allow aviation emissions to soar beyond UK carbon target, argues AEF report
Mon 19 Jun 2015 - With its imminent recommendation to the UK Government on whether a new London runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Airports Commission has drawn criticism for not fully explaining how a growth in aviation carbon emissions can be constrained within national climate targets. According to a report by aviation environmental campaign group AEF, the Commission has so far failed to come up with a credible policy for curtailing emissions and calls on the Government to reject the recommendation pending a proper analysis. AEF says that expansion at either of the two airports would require a scaling back of growth plans at UK regional airports in order to meet the carbon cap. The aviation industry contends that substantial growth in traffic can take place and still meet long-term reduction targets through new technology. Read more ...

A good outcome at the Paris COP would help provide momentum to an ICAO MBM agreement, says IATA's Tyler | Tony Tyler
A good outcome at the Paris COP would help provide momentum to an ICAO MBM agreement, says IATA's Tyler
Thu 18 Jun 2015 - It would be very concerning if the progress being made at ICAO on reaching an agreement on a global market-based measure for air transport was undone by any "wrong turns" at the UNFCCC COP21 summit in Paris later this year, IATA Director General Tony Tyler told an event held at the Paris Air Show today. Sharing a platform with French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius and ecology minister Segolene Royal, Tyler said the unique circumstances and international nature of air transport required a different approach than the UNFCCC was able to provide but a good outcome at the COP would help to provide momentum at ICAO too. Since the industry had signed up to its climate action goals in 2009, airlines had spent nearly a trillion dollars putting new energy-efficient aircraft into their fleets, he said. The 'COP21 from the sky' event also included a reaffirmation of carbon reduction goals by French aviation industry leaders. Read more ...

Etihad and partners launch roadmap towards establishing a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the UAE | Etihad,Masdar,Takreer
Etihad and partners launch roadmap towards establishing a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the UAE
Thu 18 Jun 2015 - A roadmap launched by Etihad Airways and other industry partners indicates that Abu Dhabi holds significant potential to supply domestic feedstocks that can contribute to the formation of a viable sustainable aviation biofuel industry. Following the launch of the BIOjet Abu Dhabi initiative in January 2014, the roadmap is the culmination of a year-long investigation by the airline and its partners, which include Boeing, Total, Takreer and Masdar. The roadmap examines current wider progress on the development of aviation biofuels and explores how a supply chain could be established in the UAE and the necessary feedstock, infrastructure and policy requirements. Three potential feedstocks are identified: cellulosics and oils from saltwater tolerant plants, municipal and agriculture waste, and local forest management. Etihad has also just conducted a fuel-optimised 'perfect flight' between Abu Dhabi and Washington DC as part of a new programme. Read more ...

Fuel efficiency software company OpenAirlines secures investment to expand its global coverage | OpenAirlines
Fuel efficiency software company OpenAirlines secures investment to expand its global coverage
Wed 17 Jun 2015 - Fuel efficiency software provider and consultancy OpenAirlines has secured €1 million ($1.1m) in funding from French investment fund Alter Equity3P to help it expand its sales and marketing resources. The company, which founded in 2006, says this will allow it to open subsidiaries in Asia, the Middle East and the USA over the next 18 months. It carried out five years of research and development in its formative years, including involvement with an EU Clean Sky project called CARING (Contribution of Airlines for the Reduction of Industry Nuisances and Gases). Since 2013, OpenAirlines has developed and commercialised SkyBreathe, which uses complex algorithms to automatically analyse the huge amounts of data available in flight data recorders to assess the fuel efficiency of flights and make it possible to reduce up to 5 per cent of fuel consumed on a flight. Read more ...

US EPA starts regulatory process to address aircraft emissions through a CO2 standard although NGOs unconvinced | EPA,ICCT,Earthjustice,EDF,Center for Biological Diversity
US EPA starts regulatory process to address aircraft emissions through a CO2 standard although NGOs unconvinced
Thu 11 Jun 2015 - After an eight-year fight by environmental groups for regulatory action, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now concluded that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft harm the climate and require addressing. The EPA says the US is responsible for 29 per cent of all global GHG emissions from aircraft and concedes that aviation remains the single largest transportation source not yet subject to GHG standards in the US. To address the issue, the EPA is already working with the FAA on an international CO2 standard being developed at ICAO that if passed would be required to be adopted domestically under the US Clean Air Act. However, NGOs fear the standard will not be stringent enough and have little impact on emission reductions, although industry argues the standard will contribute to its global goals. Read more ...

We are all in this together, says IATA chief in call for industry unity over global aviation emissions market measure | IATA AGM,CITES
We are all in this together, says IATA chief in call for industry unity over global aviation emissions market measure
Wed 10 Jun 2015 - IATA Director General Tony Tyler told airline industry delegates at this year's AGM held in Miami that he was confident the ICAO Assembly later next year would prove "another major step forward" towards the implementation of a global market-based measure (GMBM) from 2020. However, he cautioned, the industry had to maintain unity over the issue as there was a common interest in the outcome. The absence of an ICAO global scheme would result in an "untenable web" of local and regional taxes and charges, he said, and added that progress on aviation biofuels was being held back by a lack of government support. IATA forecasts released at the AGM show airlines collectively anticipate emitting 757 million tonnes of CO2 in 2015, up 4.6 per cent on the previous year but is still expected to align with the industry's annual fuel efficiency improvement goal. Read more ...

NATS records over 600,000 tonnes of carbon reductions in 2014 as it strives towards 2020 target | NATS
NATS records over 600,000 tonnes of carbon reductions in 2014 as it strives towards 2020 target
Fri 5 Jun 2015 - The UK air navigation services provider NATS reports that it enabled savings of more than 600,000 tonnes of CO2 during the course of its 2014-15 financial year, its best ever annual performance. The ANSP says this was achieved through more efficient air traffic control procedures, improved use of airspace and innovative technology, including the increased use of continuous descent operations (CDOs) at UK airports. In 2008, NATS became the industry's first ANSP to set itself environmental targets within its airspace and aims to reduce average ATM-related CO2 emissions per flight by 10 per cent by 2020 compared to flights in 2006. According to its latest Corporate Responsibility report, last year the company managed to reduce emissions per flight by 4.3 per cent, beating the 4 per cent target it set itself for 2014. However, NATS narrowly missed its annual 3Di airspace efficiency metric target. Read more ...

Airlines report continued improvements in fuel efficiency as industry comfortably ahead on short-term global goal | Delta Air Lines,Alaska Airlines,Air France-KLM,Lufthansa,LATAM
Airlines report continued improvements in fuel efficiency as industry comfortably ahead on short-term global goal
Thu 4 Jun 2015 - Recently released sustainability reports from five major airline groups show that fuel efficiency continues to improve in the industry although carbon emissions are increasing as a result of growing traffic. Airlines are striving to meet the industry's collective short-term goal of a 1.5 per cent annual improvement in fuel efficiency until 2020 but heavy investment in new aircraft and technologies such as wingtip devices is paying off, according to the aviation industry umbrella group ATAG. It reports the overall industry fuel efficiency improvement is currently averaging 2.9 per cent though it does not expect to maintain this level until the end of the decade. Delta, the United States' second biggest airline in terms of passenger numbers, recorded a 1.93 per cent improvement in 2014 and has implemented a carbon-neutral growth policy. Read more ...

Airbus and French regional aerospace R&D cluster select four environmental SME projects for further support | Aerospace Valley,ISAE,INSA,ONERA,Innov'ATM,VESO Concept,Airbus FYI
Airbus and French regional aerospace R&D cluster select four environmental SME projects for further support
Mon 1 Jun 2015 - Following a Europe-wide call last year to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for ideas to improve aviation eco-performance, Airbus and French R&D cluster Aerospace Valley have chosen to take forward four projects. From 59 ideas submitted, seven teams were invited to pitch their projects to a jury of representatives and experts from the two organisations, which assessed the measurable positive impact of their proposals on the environment, the ease of implementation and the level of innovation consistent with the environmental priorities of Airbus. One of the projects selected, from Toulouse-based Innov'ATM, introduces artificial intelligence into the management of ground movement operations and optimise the pushback and taxiing time for aircraft to reach the runway threshold before take-off. The concept is inspired by the behaviour of ants. Read more ...

FAA undertakes most comprehensive study ever into effects of aircraft noise on residents around airports | Noise,ACRP,FAA
FAA undertakes most comprehensive study ever into effects of aircraft noise on residents around airports
Thu 28 May 2015 - Although the airliners of today are much quieter than they were 30 years ago, the public's perception of aircraft noise has changed and, according the FAA, residents around many of the largest US airports have expressed concerns as the rate of aviation growth continues. Current methodologies have not been updated since the 1980s and the FAA has decided to survey residents around 20 selected US airports as part of a multi-year effort to update the scientific evidence on the relationship between aircraft noise exposure and its effects on communities. The agency hopes to finish gathering data by the end of 2016 before analysing the results and deciding whether to update its methods for determining exposure to noise as well as land use issues. It says if changes are warranted then proposed revised policy and related guidance and regulations will be proposed, subject to coordination with other agencies and public review. Read more ...

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 ...

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,COP21
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 ...