ICAO committee agrees a new global noise standard and certification procedures to support a new aircraft CO2 standard
Tue 26 Feb 2013 – Progress towards the adoption of a CO2 standard for new aircraft has taken a step further with an agreement on certification procedures by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). Last July, CAEP reached the first milestone on the standard by agreeing a metric system that can be used to characterise the CO2 emissions from aircraft of varying types and technologies. The committee has also reached consensus on adopting a new noise standard that is 7EPNdB below ICAO’s current standard and will come into force for new-design aircraft from the end of 2017 and after 2020 for lower weight aircraft below 55 tonnes. The EPNdB is a measure of human annoyance due to aircraft noise, taking into account the perceived noise level and duration, explains ICAO. Both agreements have been welcomed by the aviation industry.
ICAO said the new CO2 certification procedures represented another step towards “a practical and comprehensive” CO2 standard for aircraft.
“By achieving this new unanimous agreement through the CAEP, ICAO is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to establishing effective consensus on CO2 progress for global aviation,” added ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. “We are now looking to the CAEP’s wide cross-section of air transport experts to get to work on the last agreements needed to realise the aircraft CO2 standard, namely its stringency and scope of applicability.”
The recommended adoption of the new noise certification standard would see noise reduced from new type design aircraft by 7 decibels – more specifically Effective Perceived Noise dB – relative to the Chapter 4 standard adopted by ICAO in 2001, which became effective in 2006. The CAEP working group on noise reduction was tasked in 2010 with revising Annex 16 to the Chicago Convention, which outlines standards for noise reduction, and governs civil aviation worldwide.
The new standard will be presented for further consideration by the ICAO Council after formal state consultation.
“This new noise standard is an important step for aviation and will provided a much quieter environment for the communities living in proximity to the world’s airports,” commented ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin. “ICAO is encouraged that while it took air transport more than 20 years to agree to the last significant noise reduction standard, this one has been determined in less than half that time. This progress confirms our community’s continued determination to deliver on tangible and consensus-based environmental improvements.”
Welcoming the agreement, IATA’s Director General, Tony Tyler, said: “Air transport is already 75% quieter than it was four decades ago and the industry will continuously pursue cost-effective noise management options to reduce the number of people subject to aircraft noise, in line with our broader global commitments on sustainability and environmental performance.”
Commented Nancy Young, Vice President Environmental Affairs for Airlines for America (A4A): “Federal Aviation Administration statistics demonstrate that we have reduced the number of people exposed to significant levels of aircraft noise in the United States by more than 90% since the late 1970s, even as we have tripled enplanements. CAEP’s recommendation of this new standard, which is even more stringent than the cost-effectiveness analysis supported, will bring further, significant noise reductions from the next generation of aircraft.”
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, said the new standard was another major step in how the global commercial aviation industry was pro-actively addressing environmental protection. The planemaker said its aircraft in development, the A320neo family and the A350 XWB, had been designed to be compliant with the new noise standard. The long-range A350 XWB will be up to 16 decibels below the current standard requirement.
In addition, said Airbus, it will continue to develop new solutions to further reduce the operational noise, such as the Automatic Noise Abatement Departure Procedure (NADP) that optimises the thrust and flight path to reduce noise over populated areas.
Ed Bolen, President of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), welcomed the extra time granted to small aircraft manufacturers to comply with the standard. “The CAEP Working Group realised that a seven-decibel reduction would be more difficult to achieve for manufacturers of smaller aircraft, and that more time would be needed for compliance,” he said. “That’s why they have three more years for research, development and testing, to ensure they can meet the standard while maintaining the high levels of quality that are the hallmarks of the general aviation industry.”
New technology standards including the CO2 standard for aircraft will be examined during the newly-announced ICAO Symposium on Aviation and Climate Change, named ‘Destination Green’, to be held in Montreal in May. This will be the fourth in a series of environment-related events held during the triennial Assembly years and is intended foster dialogue and exchange information on the key areas of ICAO’s environmental protection activities.
The three-day symposium and exhibition, preceded by a one-day workshop, will also cover states’ action plans to reduce CO2 emissions; ICAO’s strategy on assistance to states; sustainable aviation alternative fuels; and market-based measures to reduce aviation emissions.