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ICAO agrees on CO2 metrics for aircraft

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) has unanimously agreed on CO2 metrics which characterize the CO2 emissions for aircraft types with varying technologies. This brings the establishment of a worldwide CO2 standard for aircraft a step closer.

The new CO2 metric system agreed today by States, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, addresses emissions from a wide variety of aircraft on a fair and transparent basis. It includes factors which account for fuselage geometry, maximum take-off weight and fuel burn performance at three different cruise conditions and is a major move forward.

—ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González

The CAEP agreement on the new aircraft CO2 metric system will allow the States and observer organizations that together comprise the CAEP to move onto the next stages in the development of an ICAO CO2 aircraft Standard. This work includes the definition of certification procedures to support the agreed metric system and the Standard’s scope of applicability.

An appropriate regulatory limit for the aircraft CO2 Standard will then be analyzed, using the ICAO criteria of technical feasibility, environmental benefit, cost effectiveness and the impacts of interdependencies.

This metric system is a very important milestone which comes after extensive technical discussions. That ICAO was able to achieve consensus between the States who serve on the CAEP, in addition to the major airlines, aircraft manufacturers, environmental NGOs and other stakeholders who serve as observers to this process, highlights that there is a great deal of motivation in every quarter of our sector to achieve real progress on aviation environmental performance.

—ICAO’s Environment Branch Chief, Jane Hupe



It took ICAO over 40 years to introduce direct satellite controlled flight routes to reduce flying time and fuel consumption.

Another 40+ years will be required to convinced operators to use aircraft with lower fuel consumption and fuel with smaller environment foot print.


No it will not take 40 years to convince the airlines to switch to more fuel efficient equipment. Advances in aircraft are always preceeded by advances in the power plants. Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce, as well as GE are introducing a new generation of high efficiency engines which the airframe manufacturers will integrate into new designs applying advanced composite materials for lighter structures as well as reduced drag coefficients. Think Boeing 787 for the first generation. This will decrease fuel consumption significantly providing an incentive to increase profits and remain competitive.

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