EasyJet CEO calls for tough legislation on aircraft emission standards and the grounding of 'old smokers'
Tue 1 Dec 2009 – EasyJet Chief Executive Andy Harrison has called for tough mandatory emission standards that would lead to a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from the next generation of aircraft. He said that the current Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 narrowbody families were now already over 20 years old and the introduction of the standards should start with short-haul aircraft. EasyJet proposes that by 2015 every new aircraft would have to meet a minimum standard of fuel efficiency, by 2024 airlines could not add to its fleet any aircraft that did not meet the standard and that by 2030 airlines could not operate any aircraft that did not meet the standard.
Harrison said aviation required a global solution and he proposed ICAO should lead the process to ensure a global reach and consensus on emissions standards, and establish timescales for other aircraft types. Governments too, he said, would have to play an active role in funding research and development.
“Government’s first instinct is to tax, but this won’t deliver sustainable aviation as the industry’s growth is concentrated in China and India,” he argued. “Step-change technology is in the pipeline, and we need tough legislation on emission standards for it to be delivered sooner.
“Wartime has led to the biggest leaps in aviation technology. Governments must ensure that the war on climate change delivers the next big leap in technology.
“We demand legislation for cleaner aircraft to stop the industry flying old, inefficient aircraft. If we get cleaner aircraft and ground the ‘old smokers’ we can reduce the industry’s overall emissions and tackle climate change head on.
“Since most aircraft are manufactured in Europe and America, tough emissions standards at the manufacturing source will deliver the global environmental benefits as these aircraft are exported to the fast growing markets of China and India.
“Minimum standards of efficiency are already legislated for aircraft noise, diesel engines, refrigerators and many other products. ICAO and European leaders must extend these minimum standards to aircraft emissions.”
The low-cost airline says the average age of its fleet is just 3.4 years and claims to emit nearly 27% less emissions per passenger kilometre than traditional airlines.