ICAO’s International Civil Aviation Day on December 7

Strong commitment to historic emissions control standards 

The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States, and of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.

In the Environmental domain especially in 2016, the aviation community’s strong commitment to come together on behalf of our planet has helped aviation to once again show its strength and leadership through new and historic emissions control Standards and agreements. 

As the UN and world nations have now adopted Agenda 2030, and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.

Since 2014, every five years, coinciding with ICAO anniversaries, the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period. For 2015-2018 inclusive the Council has selected the following theme:  “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind”

International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of ICAO’s 50th anniversary activities. In 1996, pursuant to an ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.

Source: ICAO

ICAO: 3.7 Billion Passengers on Scheduled Services in 2016

ICAO: 3.7 Billion Passengers on Scheduled Services in 2016

Air transport carries some 35 per cent of world trade by value 

Montréal, January 2,  2017:  Preliminary figures released today by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) indicated that the total number of passengers carried on scheduled services reached 3.7 billion in 2016, a 6.0 per cent increase over last year. The number of departures rose to approximately 35 million globally, and world passenger traffic, expressed in terms of total scheduled revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), posted an increase of 6.3 per cent, with approximately 7,015 billion RPKs performed. This growth is a slowdown from the 7.1 per cent achieved in 2015.

Over half of the world’s tourists who travel across international borders each year were transported by air. Air transport carries some 35 per cent of world trade by value. More than 90 per cent of cross border Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce was carried by air transport. 

ICAO: 3.7 Billion Passengers on Scheduled Services in 2016

ICAO: 3.7 Billion Passengers on Scheduled Services in 2016

Growth helped by lower travel cost

The forecast of world real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016 is expected to be at around 2.4 percent, down from the 2.9 per cent pace projection at the beginning of the year. The revision is due to sluggish growth in advanced economies, stubbornly low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows. Despite the weak economic conditions, global passenger traffic continued to grow helped by the lower air fares owing to the fall in oil prices.

Passenger traffic: International scheduled passenger traffic (RPK) growth in 2016

International scheduled passenger traffic expressed in terms of RPKs grew by 6.3 per cent in 2016, down from the 7.0 per cent recorded in 2015. All regions, except for Africa and the Middle East, posted slower growth than last year. Europe accounted for the largest share of international RPKs with 36 per cent, and increased by 4.3 per cent. Asia/Pacific had the second largest share with 29 per cent, and grew by 8.0 per cent. The Middle East region carried 15 per cent RPK share and recorded a growth of 11.2 per cent compared to 2015. North America, with a 13 per cent share, experienced the lowest pace of growth among all regions at 3.5 per cent. Carriers in Latin America and the Caribbean managed 4 per cent of world international RPKs and recorded a growth of 6.5 per cent. Africa with a 3 per cent share saw an improvement from 2.3 per cent growth registered in 2015 to 5.7 per cent in 2016.
In terms of domestic scheduled air services, overall markets grew by 6.2 per cent in 2016, down from the 7.3 per cent growth recorded in 2015. North America, the world’s largest domestic market with 43 per cent share of the world domestic scheduled traffic, grew by 4.9 per cent in 2016. Owing to the strong demand in India and China, the Asia/Pacific region, grew strongly by 10.0 per cent in 2016 and accounted for 40 per cent of world domestic scheduled traffic.

Low-cost carrier activity

The low-cost carriers accounted for approximately 28 per cent of the world total scheduled passengers in 2016 and passengers carried crossed the milestone of 1 billion passengers in 2016. LCCs in Europe represented 32 per cent of total passengers carried by LCCs, followed by Asia/Pacific and North America with 31 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. The increasing presence of low-cost carriers notably in emerging economies have contributed to the overall growth of passenger traffic.

Load factors slipped

Total capacity offered by the world’s airlines, expressed in available seat-kilometres, increased globally by around 6.4 per cent. As a result, overall load factor dropped slightly from 80.4 in 2015 to 80.3 this year. Load factor varies by region, ranging from 68.0 per cent for Africa to 83.3 per cent for North America. Load factor of the Middle East is under pressure with the continued strong capacity expansion outpacing the traffic growth. Load factor of the region is expected to decline from 76.3 per cent in 2015 to 74.7 per cent in 2016.

Air cargo picked up but remained challenging

World scheduled freight traffic, measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTK), grew by 2.6 per cent in 2016, a slight improvement from the 1.7 per cent growth registered in 2015. The international segment of freight traffic, which represents nearly 87 per cent of total air freight, grew by around 2.5 per cent, up from the 1.8 per cent growth in 2015. The scheduled international freight load factor declined from around 47 per cent in 2015 to 46 per cent in 2016.

Airline financial results

Fuel accounted for nearly a fifth of the Industry’s operating costs in 2016, while it accounted for a third in 2015. Significant decrease in fuel costs helped airlines to maintain their operating profit at the same level as the previous year: the airline industry is expected to end 2016 with another record operating profit of around USD 60 billion and an operating margin of 8.0 per cent. This comes after an operating profit of USD 58 billion and an operating margin of 8.0 per cent in 2015. For a consecutive year, more than a third of the profits are expected to come from the carriers of North America, whose domestic market represents 66 per cent of their total operations.

Improving economic conditions forecast by the World Bank will see traffic growth and air carrier profitability momentum continuing in 2017.

Please note: Final figures will be released in July 2017 in the Annual Report of ICAO Council.

Source: ICAO

Fewer Than 18% of People Have Flown: What Happens Next?

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

UTC: New white paper examines trends in green aviation technology

The number of commercial airplanes is expected to double to around 44,000 in the next 20 years. This increase in air travel means an increase in carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes – but does it have to?

UTC Chief Sustainability Officer John Mandyck and Dr. Alan H. Epstein, Vice President, Technology and Environment at Pratt & Whitney, released a white paper titled ‘The Future of Sustainable Aviation: Betting on Jet Propulsion & Lower Net Carbon Fuels’ detailing exciting new trends in green aviation technology that can allow the tremendous growth in air travel to happen more sustainably. This white paper follows the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) first-ever carbon dioxide emissions reduction mandate for air travel. 

For further information please visit: http://naturalleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/UTC-7612-FutureSustainableAviationWhitePaper_3.pdf

Source: Pratt & Whitney, UTC

Airbus Welcomes Industry Agreement Signed at ICAO Assembly

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

First-ever Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for international aviation

Toulouse, October 7, 2016: Airbus welcomes the climate agreement reached by governments at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada, October 5th. The agreement puts in place the world’s first Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). This represents a key pillar in the aviation industry’s climate action plan alongside technology improvements (including sustainable fuels), efficient operations and improved infrastructure.

“This is a crucial year for the global aviation community and ICAO. Following the successful agreement of a CO2 certification standard for aircraft in February this year, the international carbon offset plan is another key milestone in supporting the aviation industry’s commitment in reducing CO2 emissions”, said Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus.

“Airbus is fully committed to all pillars of the industry’s climate action plan through delivering the world’s most fuel efficient aircraft, supporting air traffic management and airport operations improvements around the world and facilitating the wider adoption of sustainable alternative fuels”, Fabrice Brégier added.

Source: Airbus 

ICAO Achieves Consensus on Sustainable Future for Global Civil Aviation

Air transport is the world’s first major industry sector to adopt a global approach to international emissions reduction

Montréal, October 6, 2016: ICAO’s Member States concluded the UN aviation agency’s landmark 39th Assembly today, delivering an historic agreement on a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to offset CO2 emissions from international flights and a comprehensive roadmap for the sustainable future of international aviation.

“Aviation can now claim its ‘Paris moment’,” declared ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, “Air transport is not only the world’s first major industry sector to adopt a global approach to international emissions reduction, but very importantly States representing more than 83% of international flight operations have volunteered to participate in the GMBM from its earliest stages in 2021.”

“The GMBM will serve as an important new tool to complement the wide-ranging emissions reduction progress already being achieved under aviation’s basket of measures,” noted ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu in her Assembly closing remarks, “namely through technological innovation, modernized procedures, and the ever-expanding use of sustainable alternative fuels.”

Significant and far-reaching 39th Assembly progress was achieved across all of ICAO’s five Strategic Objectives for Aviation Safety, Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency, Aviation Security and Facilitation, the Economic Development of Air Transport, and Environmental Protection.

Targets and approaches

ICAO Member States delivered very clear endorsements for the targets and approaches being pursued globally under ICAO’s comprehensive strategic plans, and supported the need for it to provide similar leadership at the global level in the form of two new Global Plans now to be developed for Aviation Security and Air Transport Economic Development.

They also showed their clear appreciation and support for ICAO’s recent reprioritization on assistance and capacity-building under its No Country Left Behind strategy, aided by more intensive global partnerships and resource mobilization.

Other decisions of note included agreement to amend the Chicago Convention to increase the number of States on ICAO’s Governing Council and its supporting Air Navigation Commission.

“The Council President and I have been very encouraged to see such a high level of interest from Member States and industry in the work of ICAO, recognizing and supporting our leading role in global aviation,” Dr. Liu concluded. “This Assembly has benefitted from the participation of more than 2,200 delegates from 185 Members States, non-Member States and 56 observer delegations – the highest number we have ever hosted – and we have achieved 30% more work than at any previous event of this kind.”

A more detailed review of the specific environmental items endorsed at the 39th Assembly may be found below.


ICAO’s Plan for Environmental Protection

  • Endorsement of a global market-based measure (GMBM), the first-ever market-based measure adopted by an entire industry sector.
  • Recognition of the ongoing work to develop a new supersonic noise Standard for future aircraft, and that the possible certification of a supersonic aeroplane in the 2020-2025 timeframe.
  • Recognition of the development of a new non-volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) emissions Standard for all turbofan and turbojet aircraft with rated thrust greater than 26.7kN (first-ever).
  • Support for the ICAO aspirational goals on CO2 emissions reduction and recognition of progress on all elements of the Basket of Measures.
  • Recognition of the development of a new global CO2 emissions certification Standard for New Type and In-production aeroplanes (first-ever).
  • Welcome the partnership agreement between ICAO and ACI that focuses on various cooperative initiatives for greener airports.
  • Recognition of significant achievements in assisting States to develop their State action plans for CO2 emissions reduction, leading to the submission of 101 State plans to ICAO
  • Request for advancing on emerging issues such as:

o    environmental aspects of aircraft end-of-life (e.g. aircraft recycling); and

o    climate change risk assessment on international aviation, including identification of adaptation measures

 ICAO Consensus on Sustainable Future for Global Civil Aviation

More than 2,200 delegates from 185 Members States, non-Member States and 56 observer delegations to ICAO’s 39th Assembly achieved 30% more work than at any previous event of its kind, including an historic agreement on a new global market-based measure (GMBM) for international flight emissions.Photo: ICAO

ICAO Assemblies are conducted once every three years, with the agency’s 40th set to take place during its 75th Anniversary year in 2019

Source: ICAO

Historic Agreement Reached to Mitigate International Aviation Emissions

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Montréal, October 6, 2016: Government, industry and civil society representatives have agreed today on a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to control CO2 emissions from international aviation.

The historic move came as the Plenary Session of the UN aviation agency’s 39th Assembly agreed to recommend adoption of a final resolution text for the GMBM.

ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is designed to complement the basket of mitigation measures the air transport community is already pursuing to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation. These include technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation.

“It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our Member States, industry and civil society,” remarked ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of States who will voluntarily participate in the GMBM – and from its outset. This will permit the CORSIA to serve as a positive and sustainable contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”

Implementation of the CORSIA will begin with a pilot phase from 2021 through 2023, followed by a first phase, from 2024 through 2026. Participation in both of these early stages will be voluntary and the next phase from 2027 to 2035 would see all States on board. Some exemptions were accepted for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and States with very low levels of international aviation activity.

“I would like to thank all those who have been part of this process”, said Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of ICAO. “This Resolution is the reflection of the spirit of cooperation and tremendous efforts. The ICAO GMBM endorsed today is an important addition to the basket of measures aviation is pursuing to address CO2 emissions.”

Source: ICAO

Boeing Supports ICAO Adoption of Carbon-Offset System

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Seattle, October 6, 2016: Boeing today released the following statement in response to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s adoption of a carbon-offset system:

“Boeing commends the International Civil Aviation Organization for adopting a carbon-offset system for international aviation that will help the industry achieve its goal of reducing emissions.

This historic agreement represents the world’s first sector-based, global market mechanism to address climate change and is complementary to the first-ever CO2 standard for airplane emissions that ICAO adopted earlier this year. These two significant agreements result from several years of collaboration by international experts from ICAO member states, the aviation industry and non-governmental organizations.

The market-based carbon-offset system and CO2 standard are integral to the four-pillar approach the industry is taking to stop the growth of emissions by 2020 and cut them in half by 2050 relative to 2005 levels. These efforts also include:

ð       Investing in new, more efficient aircraft;

ð       Improving operational performance of the in-service fleet;

ð       Improving the efficiency of air traffic management and other infrastructure; and

ð       Scaling up the use of sustainable alternative fuels.

We continually innovate to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of our products and services. The 787 Dreamliner family reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by 20 to 25 percent compared to airplanes it replaces. The 737 MAX, with first delivery expected in 2017, will reduce fuel use and emissions by 20 percent compared to the original Next-Generation 737.”

Source: Boeing

Global aviation CO2 scheme

Despite disagreements on key elements of global aviation CO2 scheme, ICAO chief confident of success | ICAO GMBM


Sun 15 May 2016 – After three days of complex negotiations, ICAO member states are moving towards the likelihood of an agreement at ICAO’s triennial Assembly starting in late September on a global market-based measure (GMBM) to cap net carbon emissions from international aviation. However, differences still remain on key aspects of the proposals contained in the draft Assembly resolution text that was discussed during the High-level Meeting (HLM) convened by ICAO and are unlikely to be resolved until during the Assembly. But ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (right) expects further ICAO initiatives and bilateral talks to continue over the summer and he remains highly optimistic the UN agency will pass an Assembly resolution to launch the proposed global carbon offsetting scheme.

Around 200 officials from 65 ICAO member states, plus observers from industry and civil society, progressed through all 20 paragraphs of the text with new drafts of the Assembly resolution text published during the meeting as a result of interventions by states. States were still considering additional amendments and proposals by the end of the meeting and the latest draft, along with recommendations, will be forwarded for consideration by the ICAO Council during its next session next month – the last before the Assembly.

“We had very productive discussions during the High-level Meeting,” Dr Aliu told GreenAir in an interview after its conclusion on Friday. “Thanks to the efforts made before the meeting, including the Global Aviation Dialogues, all states that participated here came prepared to have informed deliberations on all aspects of the resolution text.

“There is now a better understanding of each other’s position, interests and opinions, which is in itself a huge movement forward. Once you have achieved this and understood where other sides are coming from, it is much easier to meet in the middle. We are in a better place now than we were three days ago. There is still some work to do, there is no doubt, but we have a number of proposals that we can work on that can lead to compromise and an even better consensus.

“What I am most appreciative of all is that the text on the table was to a large extent found acceptable by a significant number of the delegates. Having said that, ICAO consists of 191 member states and it is important that we get everybody on board. That is the way we do our business. Maybe this is a much more difficult subject than the technical issues our members are used to but at the end of the day we need consensus in order to have a workable scheme.”

Dr Aliu said significant progress was made in identifying a number of areas of common agreement and understanding, including the need to establish a global scheme to ensure ICAO could deliver on its aspirational goals and a route-based approach to ensure a level playing field. There was also a recognition by all states of a need to recognise the special circumstances and respective capabilities of states while minimising market distortions, he said. There was also consensus, he stated, that the scheme had to be administratively simple and cost-effective, yet promoted environmental integrity, and to use aviation-related metrics regarding the participation of states.

Other common areas, he said, included the treatment of new entrants, technical exemptions to avoid an undue administrative burden and the important need for robust monitoring, reporting and verification procedures along with clear emissions unit criteria. In recognition of ICAO’s ‘No Country Left Behind’ pledge, there was also general consensus of a need to ensure assistance and capacity building, especially in developing countries, reported Dr Aliu.

However, he conceded not everything in the draft resolution text had been agreed, especially regarding the key provisions of paragraphs 7 and 9, which he described as the centrepiece of the proposals. “There is still work to be done in relation to the use of other phase-in criteria, economic development metrics, and on the use of an approach that takes into account both sectoral growth and individual state growth of emissions,” he said.

Unable to find consensus on these key elements of the scheme, the chairperson of the meeting, Transport Canada’s Ellen Burack, presented a document during the HLM that highlighted the different positions of states and alternative proposals put forward during the meeting on the two paragraphs.

“The recommendations from the meeting will now be considered by the Council, which will suitably decide on the next steps,” said Dr Aliu. “In all the areas on which we have general agreement – for example on the need for a global offsetting scheme with the characteristics I have just mentioned and on the provision of assistance, including capacity building – there will be no changes to the current draft.

“For the remaining contentious issues, I expect that both through ICAO initiatives and discussions among states, efforts will be made to bridge the gap between the positions of states.”

Addressing concerns that under current proposals the scheme would fall short of ensuring the goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 would be met, Dr Aliu said it would cover a minimum of 80% of international revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) flown in the initial phase (2021-2025), rising to an expected 95% in the second phase applying from 2026.

“In addition, the draft Resolution text contains a clause permitting the voluntary participation of states not covered by the phase-in criterion, and we expect several to take advantage of this opportunity to be more proactive.”

The remaining shortfall, he believed, would be made up from other efficiency improvements. “The MBM is just one of a basket of measures that includes innovative aircraft technologies, more efficient operational procedures and sustainable alternative fuels,” he said. “We are already exceeding our 2% per year fuel efficiency improvement goal on this basis and the MBM is meant to complement this progress and address any remaining gaps.”

Work on the resolution text is expected to continue between now and the Assembly, said Dr Aliu, along with possible wider consultations. Despite the differences that emerged during the meeting, he is upbeat on prospects for an eventual consensus on the design elements of the GMBM scheme.

“What I have witnessed these last three days was a common desire among states to better understand the concerns and problems of others, and together with industry and NGOs, to address those concerns in a constructive manner,” he said.

He added member states had recognised the international climate agreement reached in Paris meant an agreement needed to be found at ICAO since the decision to leave aviation out of Paris was a recognition that ICAO would address the issue.

global aviation CO2 scheme

“We are all moving in the right direction and I am confident that by continuing to work through the Council, and during the Assembly, the remaining outstanding issues of the resolution text will be resolved and the resolution that will be adopted at the forthcoming 39th Assembly will find agreement among all 191 ICAO states,” he concluded.

This article is republished with the permission of GreenAir Online
© Greenair Communications 2016

Flight Emissions: ICAO Completes Second Regional Consultation Round

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Global Market-based Measure (GMBM) scheme to address climate change


Montréal, April 13, 2016: ICAO has successfully concluded its second round of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) on Market-based Measures (MBMs) to address climate change from international flight emissions, a key priority under the UN agenc‎y’s strategic objective of environmental protection.

The current round of ICAO GLADs took place from March 20 to April 8, 2016, covering all ICAO regions. The conclusion of this latest round of ICAO outreach paves the way towards its 39th Assembly this September, where ICAO’s 191 Member States will decide on whether to adopt the global MBM scheme for implementation by 2020. The final GLADs session featured an interactive panel discussion with representatives from States, industry, environmental non-governmental organizations  and carbon market experts.

“The structure and format of the GLADs was designed specifically to inform and engage non-Council States on the design and implementation aspects of the proposed global MBM,” underscored ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “This type of outreach is essential to facilitate well-informed discussion and decision-making by all our 191 Member States, and it is especially relevant given that the world will be so keenly focused on the decisions  we adopt at our Assembly this September.”

The five, two-day GLADs events were conducted in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Legian, Indonesia; Utrecht, Netherlands; and Mexico City, Mexico. They covered a wide range of topics including the proposed global MBM’s  simplicity, environmental integrity, cost-effectiveness, possible means for differentiation without discrimination amongst States, and the assistance and capacity-building which may be needed to support its effective implementation.

”Through the Global Aviation Dialogues, ICAO engaged with hundreds of government and civil-society officials on the development of a global MBM scheme for limiting international civil aviation’s impact on climate change,” highlighted ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. These inputs will be considered by a meeting of the 18 States which compose ICAO’s GMBM High-level Group, and by a High-level Meeting of ICAO’s full 191 Member States on this May 11–13.

Source: ICAO

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