Business aviation is making strides on a global platform in its safety and environmental goals, said International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) director general Kurt Edwards. Edwards comes to NBAA on the heels of the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that ran from September 24 to October 4. Business aviation goals were recognized on a number of fronts by ICAO and other stakeholders, Edwards said, pointing to the global civil aviation community recognition of its efforts to heighten awareness of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The Assembly further endorsed IBAC’s call for ICAO to facilitate—and states to implement—positive incentive policies to encourage the production and use of SAF, Edwards said.
In addition, IBAC (Booth N2816) collaborated with industry players on a range of other issues during the triennial event, including its support for the CORSIA program as an offset to carbon use. In another area pushed by IBAC, the Assembly backed the use of a data-driven approach when developing noise and emissions standards for supersonic aircraft; and, Edwards said, IBAC secured support for further work on turboprop safety and the sharing of best practices on air traffic management procedures to all for greater use of rotorcraft.
A key to IBAC’s presence at such gatherings is to ensure that state regulators understand the different needs of business aviation. “ICAO has fundamentally always recognized the differences between business aviation, or more broadly general aviation, and commercial, scheduled air transport,” Edwards said, but “most states and regulators around the world think first about the airline sector."
There are several reasons for that, he said, including a much higher level of airline activity that brings a greater familiarity with those operations. “Because there are many, many more airline passengers, the exposure to safety risk is perceived as greater and gets more attention.” As such, fewer resources are dedicated toward business aviation issues.
But he is encouraged that the business aviation community is making strides. “We continue to build on…recognition [of business aviation] by participating in as many ICAO forums as possible,” he said. “We have had great success in providing differentiated but constructive treatment of business aviation in CORSIA, the new CO2 emissions standard, and, of course, with regard to the weight threshold for aircraft requiring a hardened cockpit door in commercial operations."
Edwards added that he is receiving requests for IBAC participation in an increasing number of ICAO forums. “IBAC and its member associations have significantly raised the visibility of business aviation at ICAO, but it is incumbent on the industry as a whole to get behind the collective effort at IBAC to ensure… that ICAO takes into account the inherent differences of business aviation.”