As government and industry came to a historic agreement last year on the first-ever standard for aviation carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions and the associated carbon-offset market-based program, most eyes focused on the airlines. Formally called Carbon Offset and Reduction System for International Aviation (Corsia), the market-based scheme primarily targets the airlines, exempting all but the largest business aviation operators.
Most of business aviation was afforded this protection because of its de minimis contribution to global emissions; business aviation accounts for 2 percent of all aviation emissions and 0.04 percent of global emissions.
Even so, business aviation has remained sharply focused on its environmental footprint, and as the CO2 and Corsia agreements came together, the industry insisted on participating. “We fought to be included,” said Ed Smith, senior v-p of international and environmental affairs for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The global aviation community initially thought that business aviation did not need to be involved.
But business aviation leaders insisted on joining the dialog for two reasons. One was a worry that whatever was decided for air transport would be applied to business aviation without any understanding of the operational and industry differences between the two segments. But second, business aviation leaders recognized that the industry must be a strong advocate on the environmental front.
It’s a matter of dollars and sense, business aviation leaders agree. Environmentally friendly operations mean more efficient operations. “We’ve always had an incentive to be more efficient because it costs us money not to be,” Smith said.