Ten days after the Dow dropped 787 points in a week, one month from the presidential election, five months before extension of the FAA’s funding expires again and 14 months until a scheduled game-changing UN meeting on the environment, the 61st NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention opened yesterday with the business aviation industry booming, but with attendees looking over their shoulders as they wait apprehensively for the boom to fall.
Aviation and the environment
Farnborough’s exhibitors and visitors would no doubt like to see a sustainable future for aviation, and a new group of UK academics is here to help assure that aspiration becomes reality.
Dr. John Green, who chairs the science and technology sub-group of industry environment group Greener by Design, would like to outlaw the sale of aircraft that are capable of ranges greater than 3,000 nm.
His reason is a compelling one. As he told last week’s NACRE conference in London, flying 8,000 nm in three hops instead of one uses just half the fuel. “So why aren’t people doing it,” he wondered.
Anyone in the air transport sector who remains unconvinced by the clarion calls for aviation to be held accountable for its impact on the environment will surely accept that sustained increases in the cost of jet fuel have removed any remaining doubt about the imperative for the industry to make more efficient use of this life-blood commodity.
The European Commission (EC) has issued revised noise proposals that abandon its earlier demands for a blanket ban on hush-kitted aircraft with mtow of more than 75,000 lb using any airports in the 15-state European Union (EU) after this coming April. But the new draft directive, published on November 28, leaves open the possibility of a limited number of individual airports being able to exclude or restrict “marginal Stage 3” aircraft.
EBAA here on Tuesday outlined its proposal for carbon offset pooling as an alternative means of compliance for the European Union emission trading scheme (ETS), in an effort to keep the administrative burden acceptable for small business aircraft operators.
The need to demonstrate environmental responsibility while remaining operationally viable has been identified as the biggest single challenge facing business aviation. This has prompted the business aviation industry to offer self-governing carbon-offset-based alternatives to the European Union’s CO2 emission trading scheme (ETS).
Former General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Ed Stimpson, now U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), warned that a “fundamental philosophical difference” between the U.S. and Europe over how to reduce aviation emissions will present a major challenge to U.S. representatives in the coming months.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has ruled out introducing taxes on jet fuel for commercial operators for at least three years. In a hard-fought deal struck at the close of the organization’s assembly on October 8, ICAO delegates agreed that no fuel taxes or charges can take effect before its next triennial assembly in the fall of 2007.
The International Civil Aviation Organization agreed at its fall meeting in Montreal to create a new group of senior government officials to recommend an aggressive ICAO program of action on international aviation and climate change.