Sweden Set To Introduce Emissions-based Charges for Flights

 - March 23, 2021, 10:53 AM

The Swedish government is preparing to introduce takeoff and landing charges that it says will encourage airlines to use more energy-efficient aircraft with lower carbon emissions. On March 21, the country’s infrastructure minister, Tomas Eneroth, said his department intends to roll out the charges beginning in July, subject to their approval by Sweden’s parliament. The government has signaled its desire to encourage a switch from jet-A to biofuels.

According to a government spokeswoman, the infrastructure department will ask airlines and airports to help formulate the charges. They will apply, initially, to flights in and out of the country’s two busiest airports, Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter.

The move would make Sweden the first country in Europe to directly tie air transport charges directly to the environmental performance of aircraft. Several countries, including the UK, have introduced airline passenger duties, supposedly to reduce demand for flights on environmental grounds, but none of those schemes has sought to directly incentivize the use of cleaner aircraft technology. Sweden, along with several other countries, has previously tried to persuade the European Union to introduce a common aviation carbon tax across the 27 member states.

In neighboring Norway, the government has set a goal that all domestic flights should be electrically powered by 2040. It has signaled an intention to reduce taxes for passengers flying on electric aircraft and introduce requirements for increasing levels of biofuel use during a transition period.

Earlier this month, Norwegian regional carrier Wideroe announced that it will start operating the new all-electric P-Volt aircraft under development by Italy’s Tecnam in partnership with Rolls-Royce. The companies expect to ready the nine-passenger model in time to start scheduled flights in 2026.