GREENAIR NEWSLETTER 7 MARCH 2018
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Industry urges adoption of CORSIA technical rules without delay as ICAO consultation with States closes
Tue 6 Mar 2018 – The three-month consultation process with ICAO Member States on the technical rules for the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) formally closed yesterday. Comments by States on the rules – the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) – will now be considered by ICAO’s governing 36-State Council and also the UN agency’s Air Navigation Commission, an independent SARPs advisory body to the Council. The final adoption of the SARPs by the Council is expected at its next formal session in June for application from 1 January 2019. The aviation industry has urged States to approve the SARPs without delay or amendments to give time for aircraft operators to be fully prepared for on-time implementation. Outstanding issues remain, however, on offset unit eligibility and the sustainability criteria on aviation biofuels under CORSIA.
States were asked for their comments on what is called the CORSIA Package, which comprises a proposed new Volume IV of Annex 16 to the Chicago Convention, an Environmental Technical Manual and draft ICAO CORSIA Implementation Elements and Supporting Documents. Annex 16 Volume IV contains CORSIA-related requirements for States and aeroplane operators – ‘aeroplane’ is used instead of ‘aircraft’ as CORSIA only includes fixed-wing aircraft and not helicopters – on monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions, CO2 offsetting requirements and emissions units.
“The aviation sector is hard at work to ensure that operators are ready to implement the emissions monitoring provisions of CORSIA in 2019. We are currently undertaking a significant education and outreach process for airlines and business aviation operators through detailed workshops taking place all over the world,” said Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), in a recent statement. “However, we also need the technical rules of the scheme – particularly the SARPs for the monitoring and reporting of emissions – to be formally approved by ICAO.
“The current CORSIA Package provides all the necessary actions to achieve this before January 2019, but adoption of the package in the middle of this year is vital.”
ICAO is undertaking its own CORSIA outreach efforts with Member States, recognising the start of MRV of CO2 emissions from next January requires an increasing level of interaction. With funding from the Swedish government, a number of outreach ‘products’ have been developed in all six UN languages and posted on ICAO’s CORSIA website, including a video on the MRV process.
A series of five three-day CORSIA regional seminars starts this month and will run until mid-April. They will be based on the draft SARPs presented to States during the consultation and will share information on CORSIA implementation requirements. Following the expected adoption of the SARPs by the Council in June, a further seminar is planned at ICAO in Montreal in early July.
The CORSIA Implementation Elements that States were consulted on are under development by the Council and its Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). The five elements comprise:
- CORSIA States for Chapter 3 States Pairs – this provides information on those States participating in the scheme that define the State pairs with offsetting requirements for the current year and is critical information for operators to determine the applicability scope of the offsetting requirements.
- ICAO CORSIA CO2 Estimation and Reporting Tool (CERT), which can support operators in assessing their eligibility to use fuel burn monitoring methods in support of their Emissions Monitoring Plan; assessing whether or not an operator is within the MRV applicability scope; and filling in CO2 emissions data gaps.
- CORSIA Sustainable Aviation Fuels covers information on Sustainability Certification Schemes (SCS), sustainability criteria, default life-cycle emissions values and the methodology for calculating actual life-cycle emissions values.
- CORSIA Eligible Emissions Units provides information on which units an operator shall use to meet their CO2 offsetting requirements, including a list of approved units and the programme design elements and criteria.
- CORSIA Central Registry (CCR), which will hold information and data on operator-to-State attribution, 2020 emissions and the annual sector’s growth factor.
Sustainability criteria for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) remains under discussion – some say dissension – within the Council, although two basic principles are noted in the draft, namely that SAF should generate lower carbon emissions than conventional kerosene on a life-cycle basis and SAF should not be made from biomass obtained from land with high carbon stock.
CAEP is understood to be making progress on other technical specifications, such as the development of default life-cycle emissions values and methodologies, and requirements for Sustainability Certification Schemes.
CAEP recommendations on these are expected to be considered by the Council at its session in November, as is progress on the informal testing by CAEP of some carbon offset programmes against eight integrity assessment criteria principles for eligible offsets:
- Are additional.
- Are based on a realistic and credible baseline.
- Are quantified, monitored, reported and verified.
- Have a clear and transparent chain of custody.
- Represent permanent emissions reductions.
- Assess and mitigate against potential increase in emissions elsewhere.
- Are only counted once towards a mitigation obligation.
- Do no net harm.
To raise understanding of how carbon markets work and to better prepare States for the discussions on emissions units to be used for CORSIA, ICAO held a seminar last month in Montreal that was attended by over 200 delegates from States, airlines and the carbon markets. Presentations were made by representatives from the compliance and voluntary markets, UN mechanisms and verifiers.
Speaking at the seminar, ATAG’s Michael Gill said airlines were looking for a sufficient volume of emissions units eligible under CORSIA and that there were legitimate concerns over the cost of the units. It was necessary to know as soon as possible, he said, what the eligibility criteria is going to be so that the markets can adapt accordingly.
He also said it was important to avoid unnecessary speculation on what the eligibility criteria might be before the ICAO Council had approved them as this could lead to misinformed decisions by operators on their offset strategies. “It can also upset the very fine political balance that still needs to be resolved within ICAO to ensure CORSIA is successfully adopted,” he added.
On what type of offsets airlines are likely to buy, he said these will be based on individual business decisions as they see fit, with some looking at co-benefits while others will focus on cost. The key criteria across the industry was a commitment to purchasing only quality offsets to ensure compliance, he promised.
Following the adoption by the Council of the SARPs in June, a final letter will be sent to States who have until September to approve or disapprove them, and a November deadline to file differences.
Airline group TUI plans sustainable fuel strategy as it takes delivery of first biofuel-powered Boeing 737 MAX
Mon 5 Mar 2018 – Holiday airline group TUI has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that was powered by a 30 per cent biofuel blend on its flight from the manufacturer in Seattle to Stockholm, where it joins TUI Nordic. This is the second MAX 8 to join the TUI fleet, the first delivered a month ago to TUI Belgium in Brussels, and form the initial deliveries of a large fleet renewal, with a total of 72 737 MAX 8 and 10 aircraft to be added across the group by 2023. TUI says a more sustainable approach to aviation is an important part of its long-term strategy and aims to operate Europe’s most carbon efficient airlines and reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by a further 10 per cent by 2020. The group, which includes six airlines with around 150 modern medium and long-haul aircraft, is in the process of developing a sustainable alternative fuel development plan.
“We are committed to collaborating on projects and partnerships that help scale up sustainable aviation fuels. Seeing the Nordic countries are at the forefront of sustainable development, it is very fitting that our very first MAX flight on biojet fuel touched ground here,” said David Burling, Member of the TUI Group Executive Board, responsible for airlines, and Alex Huber, Managing Director of TUI Nordic, in a joint statement. They said TUI was currently looking at biofuel suppliers in the Nordic region as well as in Europe.
“Biofuel represents a significant opportunity for reducing aviation’s carbon footprint and achieving its environmental goals,” said Sean Newsum, Director of Environmental Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which used a TUI Boeing 757 as part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme in 2015 (see article).
“Our collaboration with TUI on the programme included testing of biofuel, and this 737 MAX delivery flight is a further demonstration of TUI’s interest in bringing price competitive biofuel to market.”
The new narrowbody aircraft, which first entered service last year, has a claimed 14% lower kerosene consumption and carbon emissions compared to aircraft of this size previously operated by subsidiary TUIfly, and also a 40% smaller noise footprint.
By the end of 2018, a total of nine MAX 8s are expected to be delivered to TUI airlines and operated in Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with the first delivery for TUIfly Germany scheduled for early 2019.
Meanwhile, TUI Group has announced the appointment of Aage Dünhaupt as Director Corporate Communications, who will manage communications and PR for the group’s international aviation and airline business. Dünhaupt was formerly Head of Communications at industry association Airlines for Europe (A4E), following service within the Lufthansa Group. He is succeeded at A4E by Jennifer Janzen, previously in communication roles with Star Alliance and also with the Lufthansa Group.
TUI Group – ‘Better holidays, better world’ Sustainability Strategy 2020
EU-wide taxes on jet fuel and plane tickets could help plug budget gap and address transport climate impact, says T&E
Fri 2 Mar 2018 – Taxing jet kerosene and applying a value added tax to plane tickets within Europe could raise €26.5 billion ($32bn) a year that could be used to plug an EU budget gap, reduce labour taxes and help meet climate targets, says a position paper by campaign group Transport & Environment. With the EU currently drafting its post-2020 budget and looking for alternative sources of revenue to make up for the UK’s Brexit departure, this is an opportunity to raise revenue from transport for both EU and national budgets while helping to tackle rising emissions from the sector, argues T&E. It calls for reforms of the 2003 Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) and rescinding of the exemption for the taxation of aviation and marine fuels, and require jet fuels on domestic and intra-EU routes to be subject at least to the EU minimum rate of fuel tax, which is currently 33 euro cents per litre. Value added tax (VAT) should also be levied on airline tickets for domestic, intra-EU and even extra-EU flights, says the Brussels-based NGO.
The ETD sets the minimum level of taxation legally permissible across Europe for certain fuels, a key reason being to reduce the ability of member states to lower fuel taxes to encourage ‘fuel tourism’. However, it also includes provisions for states to continue historical exemptions on aviation fuel taxation. The exemption is not mandatory and member states are free to tax aviation fuel for domestic aviation or on a bilateral basis with other member states for aviation fuel uplifted for flights between them. To date, says the paper, few member states have availed themselves of this provision except the Netherlands for the period when there were domestic flights operating.
Potential annual revenues in the largest five EU states are €6.5 billion ($8bn) alone at the minimum ETD rate for their combined domestic and intra-EU flights, while the total across the EU is estimated by T&E at €9.5 billion ($11.7bn). If the cost was to be passed on to the consumer, it calculates this would add €14 ($17) to the average ticket price of an average intra-EU flight. If VAT at 15% was applied to domestic, intra and extra EU air tickets and the cost fully passed through, this would raise revenues of €17 billion ($21bn) per year, with the average one-way intra-EU ticket price of €80 increasing by €12.
“Considering that average ticket prices have fallen dramatically from hundreds of euros over the past decade or so, and by 16% in the past five years alone, these measures are manageable and politically defensible as a means to fund budgets and cover aviation’s unmet external costs, such as climate change and noise and air pollution,” says the paper.
“The VAT and fuel exemptions cause distortions with rail, artificially stimulate demand, drive uncontrolled growth in aviation emissions and constitute unjustifiable subsidies.”
The €150 million ($185m) annual cost of complying with the EU Emissions Trading System does little to address this imbalance, it argues, and points out the ETS directive does not say the scheme can be the only charge on carbon emissions of covered entities. A kerosene tax would also send a price signal to airlines and aircraft manufacturers to increase efficiency, something it says is not being sent by the ETS. “Taxes also can encourage companies to utilise cleaner technologies, promote smarter transport behaviour amongst users and help bridge the price gap with cleaner future fuels,” it adds.
The paper acknowledges tax is a sensitive subject within the EU context and defining tax rates is considered a pillar of sovereignty for many member states. However, the perspective changes when it relates to a European-wide area of interest. “Climate change is a clear example of an issue that requires international action in order to be meaningfully addressed,” it says.
T&E says its position is aligned with 17 eminent European economists – including former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, ex-WTO head Pascal Lamy and former German finance minister Hans Eichel – who signed an open letter to EU leaders and finance ministers calling for a carbon tax on fossil fuels as well as a kerosene tax and an application of a minimum level of VAT on all airline tickets to help with the post-Brexit EU budget.
T&E’s Freight Policy Officer, Samuel Kenny, commented: “Taxing airline fuel and flight tickets makes sense. Aviation is the quickest and cheapest way to heat the planet while at the same time the transport mode most heavily subsidised by governments. Plugging these tax gaps can both accelerate the fight against climate change and solve the EU’s budget problems in one fell swoop.”
T&E believes the current VAT exemptions could become entrenched as the European Commission wants to give member states greater flexibility on VAT rates. It fears this would effectively mean that for tax purposes, “weekend flying breaks in Europe be treated the same as necessities such as foodstuffs, baby items or pharmaceutical products.”
Said T&E Aviation Director Bill Hemmings: “The Commission proposal is a missed opportunity. Under the definitive VAT regime in 2022, a negative list will be drawn up of goods and services which must be subject to standard VAT rates. Passenger transport and aviation in particular should be added to that list.”
Meanwhile, US airlines are fighting a Senate subcommittee proposal to double the $4.50 Passenger Facility Charge cap, an airport tax paid by passengers through their airline ticket.
“Contrary to the Administration’s historic tax reform package that provided tax relief to all Americans, the average traveller still pays 21% of the total cost of a roundtrip airline ticket to the federal government – the same tax bracket designed to discourage use of so-called ‘sin products’,” wrote six airline CEOs in a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Projected sustainable aviation fuel uptake by 2025 could be doubled with government support, says IATA
Tue 27 Feb 2018 – To coincide with the tenth anniversary of the first-ever biofuel flight, IATA has set out its aims for one billion passengers to fly on aircraft powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blends by 2025, but only if supported by government policy. The demonstration flight in 2008 by a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 from London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol used 500 gallons of biofuel sourced from coconut and babassu nut oils in the jet fuel blend (see article). The flight showed the technical viability of using drop-in biofuels and since then the threshold of 100,000 SAF flights was passed in 2017, with IATA expecting one million flights during 2020. Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic is expecting to carry out its first commercial biofuel flight later this year, pending approval of the waste gas to jet fuel product developed by its partner LanzaTech.
“The momentum for sustainable aviation fuels is now unstoppable,” claimed IATA DG Alexandre de Juniac, although he acknowledged the 2025 target would be hard to achieve without governments setting a framework to incentivise production in the same way as they do for low-carbon automotive fuels.
IATA said steps were needed to provide loan guarantees and capital grants for production facilities; support for SAF demonstration plants and supply chain research and development; and a harmonisation of transport and energy policies that was coordinated with involvement from agriculture and military departments.
On the present uptake trajectory, IATA estimates half a billion passengers could fly on a SAF-blended flight by 2025 but with effective government policies to help scale-up production, it believes this number could be doubled.
The association, which represents some 280 airlines worldwide, pointed out that a number of its members – including Cathay Pacific, FedEx Express, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Qantas and United – had already made significant investments by forward-purchasing 1.5 billion gallons of SAF. In addition, airports in Oslo, Stockholm, Brisbane and Los Angeles had started mixing SAF with the general fuel supply.
Accepting that some land transport biofuels had been criticised over environmental concerns, de Juniac said the airline industry was determined only to use truly sustainable sources for its alternative fuels.
“The industry is clear, united and adamant that we will never use a sustainable fuel that upsets the ecological balance of the planet or depletes its natural resources,” he pledged. An IATA infographic states its members would not use fuels sourced from palm oil.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic claims its partnership with LanzaTech to create a commercially viable sustainable jet fuel from industrial waste gases and other waste streams “is on the verge of a major breakthrough”.
Since the launch in 2011, LanzaTech has raised hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, secured funding towards five commercial ethanol plants – the first stage in the conversion process, from which each gallon of ethanol produces half a gallon of jet fuel – and produced 4,000 gallons of its renewable fuel for testing purposes. It reports the fuel has so far performed well under the rigorous ASTM testing and review processes. The airline says it “fully intends” to fly with the fuel as soon as it is qualified for use on commercial flights, which it hopes will be later this year.
The two partners are also calling on the UK government to back the new technology through providing access to existing low-carbon fuel incentives that have recently been extended to include renewable jet fuels produced from municipal waste streams, although do not explicitly include fuels from waste gases (see article). De-risking support for a first-of-a-kind commercial plant in the UK would enable the product to be quickly brought to market and at a price on a par with traditional jet fuels, they say, and provide wider benefits.
“The project is now tantalising close to becoming a reality, with the potential to deliver massive carbon savings as well economic and technological benefits to the UK,” commented Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger.
Added Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech: “The aviation sector’s commitment to achieving a low-carbon future is evidenced by its investment in the development of sustainable jet fuel supply chains. Remarkably, due to this commitment, we have gone from ‘it can’t be done’ to over 100,000 commercial flights on low-carbon jet fuel in under 10 years. This is tremendous progress and we are thrilled to partner with Virgin Atlantic, the airline that first showed synthetic, low-carbon jet fuel flight was possible.”
The Chicago-based biotech company estimates its process could be retrofitted to 65% of the world’s steel mills, with a potential for producing around 15 billion gallons of renewable jet fuel annually, representing just under 19% of the total worldwide consumption of all aviation fuel.
Virgin Group’s founder Sir Richard Branson said the search for a sustainable aviation fuel had been a longstanding challenge for airlines and fuel companies but tremendous progress had been made in the decade since the first biofuel flight.
“We have invested in and worked with a number of fuel companies over the years and today we are partnered with LanzaTech because of its impressive sustainability profile and commercial potential,” he said.
IATA – Sustainable aviation fuels , Virgin Atlantic – Sustainability , LanzaTech
Nepal’s Yeti Airlines pledges to become carbon neutral as it develops partnership with UNDP
Thu 15 Feb 2018 – Following its partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to promote UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nepalese domestic carrier Yeti Airlines is targeting carbon neutrality from this year. The airline, which operates a fleet of six BAe Jetstream 41s and took delivery of two ATR 72-500 aircraft in 2017, has published its first annual greenhouse gas inventory that was the focus of a workshop held recently in Kathmandu. Having measured emissions resulting from aircraft operations, vehicle use and ground facilities, a baseline has been established to monitor progress on carbon reduction efforts. The airline will purchase UN-certified credits to offset those emissions that it is unable to achieve in-house.
“With the support of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and UNDP, we will be embarking on a committed journey to carbon neutrality – the first airline in Nepal to do so,” said Yeti Airlines CEO Umesh Chandra Rai.
The airline’s ongoing efforts to promote environmental sustainability in the aviation sector would contribute towards meeting national and global commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, said Sanjiv Gautam, Director General of CAAN, who added: “I am sure the airline will continue its efforts to regularly monitor and offset carbon emissions.”
The inventory report shows Yeti produced 18,113 tonnes of CO2e emissions in 2017, equivalent, says the airline, to the amount of carbon sequestered by around 470,000 trees over 10 years. As a result of a more efficient fleet, it says CO2 emissions per km decreased by 7% between 2016 and 2017, while CO2 emissions per passenger fell by 11%. The airline also expects to address the impact of other areas of its operations, including water use and waste management.
“We plan to adopt industry-leading practices to reduce our emissions, which include more efficient routes and operations, fleet upgrades, staff training and load reductions,” said Rai. “Any unavoidable emissions will be offset by purchasing UN-certified carbon credits and other initiatives that support climate mitigation and sustainable development for the benefit of the Nepalese people. We aim to become a carbon neutral company by 2018.”
Added UNDP Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer: “Yeti has taken a bold decision to transform itself into a climate neutral company in partnership with UNDP. I believe this will inspire several other Nepali businesses to adopt a goal of climate neutrality, and the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.”
Under its partnership with UNDP, Yeti has already undertaken a programme to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to SDG-branded aircraft, the goals are featured on airport shuttle buses and boarding passes, and also in information leaflets and social media campaigns, as well as a link on the airline’s website for donating to UNDP programmes in the country. UNDP and the airline have also pledged to undertake joint initiatives to raise awareness on sustainable development, and mobilise stakeholders and advocates for its implementation.
The partnership is also expecting to explore, adopt and promote innovative and sustainable business models in the aviation and tourism industry that would help Nepal meet some specific SDG indicators in the areas of climate change adaptation, poverty reduction and gender equality, said UNDP.
Qantas transpacific biofuel flight heralds future for farming of non-food carinata oilseed crop in Australia
Tue 13 Feb 2018 – The first commercial flight to use a biofuel blend between the United States and Australia has been undertaken by Qantas. Flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne, the Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operated with around 24,000kg of blended biofuel processed from Brassica carinata, a non-food industrial oilseed crop developed by Canadian agricultural technology company Agrisoma Biosciences. Having previously looked at a number of potential sustainable aviation fuel pathways, the airline now believes its new partnership with Agrisoma will be a big step in the development of a renewable jet fuel industry in Australia. Water efficient and requiring no specialised production or processing techniques, field trials have shown carinata should do very well in the Australian climate, says Qantas. Agrisoma is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and last month AltAir Fuels, which produced the blend for the Qantas flight, was certified by the organisation.
On a life-cycle basis, Agrisoma claims its carinata-derived fuel can reduce carbon emissions by 80% compared to traditional jet fuel and the 10% biofuel blend used on the flight therefore saw a 7% reduction in emissions on the route compared to normal operations.
Agrisoma’s jet biofuel has already been used unblended in a research flight undertaken by the Canadian government’s National Research Council back in 2012 (see article).
Carinata – a type of mustard seed – can be sown in either fallow areas where food crops fail or in between regular crop cycles, known as cover cropping. Rotational or break-crops can improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional income, says the company. It claims one hectare of carinata seed yields 2,000 litres of oil, which produces 400 litres of biofuel, 1,400 litres of renewable diesel and the remainder in renewable by-products.
“Biojet fuel made from carinata delivers both oil for biofuel and protein for animal nutrition while also enhancing the soil it’s grown in,” commented CEO Steve Fabijanski. “We are excited about the potential of the crop in Australia and look forward to working with local farmers and Qantas to develop a clean energy source for the local aviation industry.”
Since the Qantas flight, Agrisoma has entered into carinata distribution discussions with Australian company Nuseed, which has sales in 30 countries and advanced trials in Australia, Europe, North America and South America. It has over 100 research staff working across nine global locations plus two innovation centres and develops unique canola, sorghum and sunflower plant traits for high yields.
“Carinata is grown and harvested much like canola,” said Fabijanski, explaining the venture. “With Nuseed we have a seed distribution partner with agronomic knowledge, connection and commitment to Australian growers, plus expertise in production from grower to processor.”
Having previously used biofuel sourced from used cooking oil on trial flights in 2012, Qantas is hopeful that farmers will be growing the first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.
The jet fuel for the Qantas flight was delivered by World Fuel Services having been produced at AltAir’s Paramount refinery in California, the world’s first commercial-scale renewable jet fuel plant. It is capable of producing around 35 million gallons of renewable fuel annually, including Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and also biojet for United Airlines.
The AltAir certification by RSB covers the production of biojet fuel, renewable diesel and naphtha. “The RSB applauds AltAir in its commitment to sustainability by applying the world’s most trusted, peer reviewed standard and gaining RSB certification,” said RSB Executive Director, Rolf Hogan. “As the leading producer of commercial biojet fuel, AltAir has demonstrated that the aviation sector can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting the highest standards of sustainability and transparency.”
Responded AltAir Founder and President Bryan Sherbacow: “By achieving RSB certification, we now have third-party verification of field to wing or tank GHG reductions of at least 60%. These measurable results ensure that AltAir customers and their stakeholders are meeting their respective sustainability targets.”
Heathrow launches UK competition to find green ideas and solutions for airports and aviation
Mar 2018 – Heathrow Airport has launched the Sustainable Innovation Prize for UK businesses and organisations to submit ideas and solutions on how to address the environmental challenges of airports and the aviation industry. The applications must fit one of three categories: waste as a resource; sustainable and low-carbon materials; and measuring and enhancing quality of life locally. Worth £20,000 ($27,000), the winner will be able to trial and develop their concept and the opportunity to use Heathrow’s operation and partners as a ‘live laboratory’. The entries will be reviewed for their maximum sustainability benefit, as well as likelihood of trial success and later implementation. The prize is part of the Heathrow 2.0 sustainable growth plan launched a year ago and the airport’s ambitions to make it a ‘centre of excellence’ for aviation sustainability.
“This prize is an opportunity for us to attract talented organisations that are passionate about improving our environmental footprint and who can push us to think ‘outside the box’,” said Heathrow Sustainability Director Matt Gorman, who will be one of the judges. “The winning idea will become an integral part of our sustainability strategy and our plans to help us meet growing demand for our airport in a way that creates a positive impact on our community, environment and the UK economy.”
Closing date for submissions is March 31.
Portland International first US airport to use 100% recycled aircraft de-icing fluid
Mar 2018 – Portland International Jetport in Maine has laid claim to being the first airport in the United States to use 100% recycled aircraft de-icing fluid. Provided by Inland Technologies and applied by Northeast Air, the local FBO, the new fluid is a culmination of three years of preparation and is said to meet all FAA safety requirements. Since Inland’s original facility opened six years ago, nearly six million gallons of used aircraft de-icing fluid has been collected to ensure it does not mix with storm water and has been processed to remove the glycol and other contaminants. Nearly one million gallons of pure glycol have been recovered in this time. “Having operated from this location for almost 50 years, we have actively participated in the evolution of de-icing technology,” reported Henry Laughlin, Northeast Air’s President. “Our introduction of AirFirst technology trucks significantly reduced the volume of glycol used in the overall process and our glycol blending system ensures minimal wastage. We have now completed the circle through the application of recycled glycol using the world’s most advanced de-icing equipment.”
Italian free route airspace procedures saved 95,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2017
Mar 2018 – Free Route procedures implemented by Italian air navigation service provider (ANSP) ENAV led to savings of around 30,000 tonnes of fuel from flights over Italy in 2017, saving approximately 95,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The procedure – the first to be implemented by one of the larger European ANSPs, claims ENAV – permits aircraft flying over Italian airspace at an altitude exceeding 11,000 metres (36,000 feet) to choose a direct, shorter path without having to follow the route network. ENAV says as a result of the benefits, a number of new routes began crossing Italian airspace in 2017. It is now working on lowering the Free Route altitude to 9,000 metres (29,500 feet) by this summer, almost four years earlier than indicated in a European directive. “In order to deploy Free Route, we invested in technology and in training our air traffic controllers, who confirmed their strong professionalism,” said ENAV CEO Roberta Neri.
Air Canada named as ATW’s Eco-Airline of the Year for 2018
Feb 2018 – Industry magazine Air Transport World has named Air Canada as 2018 Eco-Airline of the Year among its annual airline industry awards. The judges cited the carrier’s commitment to emissions reductions through supporting the development of alternative fuels and its numerous green programmes and partnerships, including being the first airline in the world to voluntarily join the World Bank’s IMF Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. “Air Canada has made sustainability central to its decision-making and business processes, and this includes acting responsibly with respect to the environment,” said the airline’s CEO Calin Rovinescu. “This award will further spur us on to the goals we have set for ourselves to continually improve our environmental performance.” Its corporate sustainability report was recently named best in the transportation category by The Finance and Sustainability Initiative in its annual competition.
Ethiopia to host RSB’s first African aviation biofuel conference
Feb 2018 – Sustainability certification body the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is to hold its first African Aviation Biofuel Summit in Addis Ababa on March 20. Sponsored by Boeing, the event aims to bring together local, regional and international leaders from the aviation industry and government who are driving the development of sustainable aviation biofuels in the region. As well as sharing global experience and best practice, it will look at feedstock opportunities and biofuel production potential in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia. The RSB and WWF South Africa are expected to provide insight and expertise on sustainability and feedstocks. Other speakers will include representatives from IATA, Boeing, SkyNRG, LanzaTech, Ethiopian Airlines and national agencies. RSB is already cooperating with Boeing and South African Airways on an aviation biofuels project in South Africa.
Lufthansa Cargo passes tougher ISO14001 environmental stringency test
Feb 2018 – Lufthansa Cargo has again been awarded ISO14001 environmental management certification, after being audited to the revised and stricter standard. The airline has been certified at all its German stations since 2010, with worldwide certification achieved in 2015. This was extended to its ULD subsidiary Jettainer, and another subsidiary, time:matters, is also now certified. “We worked together with the various departments to successfully implement the standard’s more stringent requirements with respect to risk determination, stakeholder orientation and life cycle assessment, including supplier management,” said Bettina Jansen, Head of Environmental Management at Lufthansa Cargo. “As an airline, we have a special responsibility to our environment. We live up to this responsibility through our ambitious environmental targets, especially in areas of particular relevance, such as flight operations, cargo handling and infrastructure.”