Parliament ratifies ‘stop the clock’ deal

Posted by Boeing on 14/04/14

On 3 April, the European Parliament in plenary session adopted by a 458-120 vote a negotiated agreement with the EU Greek Presidency and the Commission on the aviation ETS. The measure now goes to the Council of Ministers for its final endorsement. The agreement came after the Environment Committee had rejected the arrangement.

The key element of the agreement is the extension of the “Stop the Clock” derogation until 2016 (i.e. a suspension of the law for intercontinental flights). The agreement follows the original Commission’s proposal to apply the ETS with an airspace approach from 2014 until a global Market Based Measure is implemented in 2020.

Peter Liese, the lead MEP supporting the negotiated agreement — and rapporteur in the Environment Committee – called the deal “the best option under the circumstances,” although he defended the ETS. “We have a very clear message for the world. Either we get a global agreement in 2016 or we will have the full scope of the EU’s ETS back in 2017.”

The agreement would stop the clock only until 2016, that is when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented. The deal also calls for member states to report how they spend revenues collected from auctions under the ETS.

Boeing continues to strongly support a global agreement at ICAO level to address aviation emissions.The European Parliament’s pragmatic decision enhances the ICAO process and creates positive momentum towards a global solution.

MEPs Reject Agreement with Council Presidency on ‘Stop the Clock’

Posted by Boeing on 28/03/14

On 19 March, MEPs in the Environment Committee rejected a negotiated agreement with the EU Greek Presidency and the Commission on the aviation ETS. The key element of the agreement was the extension of the “Stop the Clock” derogation  until 2016 (i.e. a suspension of the law for intercontinental flights. The agreement follows the original Commission’s proposal to apply the ETS with an airspace approach from 2014 until a global Market Based Measure is implemented in 2020.

The dossier now goes to the full Parliament, which is expected to vote on 3 April. Peter Liese, the lead MEP supporting the negotiated agreement — and rapporteur in the Environment Committee – remained “optimistic that the plenary will support the compromise”.

The agreement would stop the clock only until 2016, that is when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented. The deal also calls for member states to report how they spend revenues collected from auctions under the ETS.

Boeing looks forward to a final outcome in the EU process that supports a global approach at ICAO level.

Boeing Sponsors Aviation Discussion at EPC

Posted by Boeing on 26/03/14

On 6 March, the European Policy Centre in Brussels held an event supported by The Boeing Company, on aviation as a contributor to growth and competitiveness. European Commissioner Siim Kallas was a featured speaker and discussed the economic benefits of aviation in Europe: “It is hard to overstate the importance of aviation in today’s globalised environment. By bringing the citizens of the world together, it creates prosperity and jobs.”

The global connectivity fostered by aviation results in higher levels of productivity and investment, he added. Europe has capitalised on this favorable trend by progressively moving toward a single aviation market. But Kallas noted some headwinds in global aviation trends for European carriers. “If we do not act and adapt quickly to stay at the forefront of world aviation, then in a few years’ time it may be too late,” he explained. To remain globally competitive in aviation would require progress on the Single European Sky and other congestion-reducing measures, he said.

“The Single Sky project needs to succeed and be implemented — as soon as possible. It will allow us to shorten flights, reduce delays and emissions, and save about 3 billion euros each year, out of a total annual cost of 8 billion euros,” Kallas said.

“Progress here has been less than hoped — but I believe that we can still do this,” he added. “That’s why I proposed SES 2+ with some changes to speed up implementation, because this project is too important to be allowed to fail. Our air traffic management systems should be as cutting-edge and optimised as possible, which is what we are working towards.”

Boeing’s President for EU and NATO Relations Antonio De Palmas, also addressed the conference, speaking on the urgency of re-balancing Europe’s aviation regulatory framework in particular focusing on the necessity to reconcile aviation with its true economic nature and to balance the environmental dimension with stimulatory policies and safety. He also called on the new European institutions to set a new positive agenda for change and growth, which also reconciles policies with technology.

Second World ATM Congress Concludes in Madrid

Posted by Boeing on 07/03/14

The second annual World Air Traffic Management Conference recently wrapped up in Madrid, convening air traffic management (ATM) professionals, policy makers, and thought leaders from around the world.

During the Congress, attendees and speakers highlighted how ATM providers can meet airlines’ expectations for safe, efficient, environmentally progressive and cost-effective air navigation services. The head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration delivered a keynote address on delivering ATM modernisation. Speakers also discussed Europe’s functional airspace blocks (FABs), the growth of remotely piloted aircraft, ATM partnerships and efficient regulation. View the full agenda here.

The Congress comes as the European Parliament’s Transport Committee has adopted the Single European Sky 2+ (SES2+) package of upgrades to the project to harmonise European ATM services. SES2+ includes better oversight by state-level authorities, more efficient procurement, more inclusion of airspace users, more rigorous metrics, greater FAB flexibility, a stronger focus on centralised services for ANSPs (including SESAR, the SES’ implementation vehicle) and consolidation of overlapping regulatory jurisdictions.

The implementation of the Single European Sky remains of paramount important for the European aviation industry. It cannot delayed any longer if aviation is to remain a key enabler of competitiveness, mobility and connectivity for Europe.

Global Sustainable Aviation Summit 2014

Posted by ATAG on 21/02/14

Commercial aviation is celebrating its centenary this year and, aside from looking at the way that our industry has moved from that first airline passenger to flying over 8 million passengers a year, we are also taking the opportunity to look at the future of aviation. For our industry, a positive future is a sustainable one and the industry will be looking at the various components that future at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit, to be held in Geneva on 29 and 30 April.

In recent years, the Air Transport Action Group’s Aviation & Environment Summit became the leading global forum for the world’s aviation community to discuss sustainability issues. It is where we launched the world’s first targets for reducing emissions from a single global sector.  And it is where we, as a community, committed to sustainable growth in air transport in 2012. This year’s event will broaden the focus to discuss aviation and climate change; aviation as a catalyst for sustainable development and the future implications for aviation.

Those interested in registering for the event, or finding out more, can check out

EU / ASEAN Aviation Summit

Posted by Boeing on 17/02/14

Singapore is the world aviation city this week, as the Singapore Air Show takes place at the city’s famous Changi Airport and several other events are held in conjunction, including the EU / ASEAN Aviation Summit. The event was an opportunity for government and industry to discuss how the two regions can build closer ties and work with each other to take advantage of the benefits that air traffic growth can bring. While there have been panel sessions on safety, connectivity, air traffic management and airports, the real reason for the Summit seems to be working towards a comprehensive air services agreement between the EU and ASEAN nations.

Speaking at the Summit, Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s Direct General, said: “Liberalising aviation between the EU and ASEAN is not just about normalisation – it is about upping our game in response to increasing competitive pressures from other regions. It is about boosting our own position as global aviation hubs. We need to seize this opportunity for first mover advantage before others reap the full benefit of unrestricted market access. Beyond our own positioning, experience shows that consumers are the biggest winners from aviation liberalisation, and that there are other far-reaching benefits. For us as airports, it is about unleashing our potential to act as engines of economic growth for our communities – something not to be overlooked given the urgency of sustaining Europe’s economic recovery.

The ASEAN region is really one of the aviation growth powerhouses – as EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in his opening address to the Summit, “Half of the world’s traffic growth over the next 20 years will be to, from, or within the Asia-Pacific region. By 2030, it will be world leader in air traffic, with a market share of 38%. ASEAN will be at the very centre of this exciting development. It will contribute to this growth and also be able take advantage of it. But we are not just going to look on in envy. We are also here to engage with you, to share experiences and ideas, and to learn from you.”

It was mentioned often throughout the Summit that aviation acts as a catalyst for growth in other areas of the economy and that stronger ties in the region, despite challenges of implementation, would provide great benefits to both economies.

Desert crops show promise for sustainable biofuel

Posted by Boeing on 25/01/14

Boeing and research partners in the United Arab Emirates have made breakthroughs  in sustainable aviation biofuel development, finding that desert plants fed by seawater will   produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks. Shown here, a halophyte   called salicornia, which is being researched at the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium in Abu Dhabi.

Desert plants fed by seawater — like this halophyte known as salicornia — will produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks.

Boeing, working with research partners in the United Arab Emirates, recently found that desert plants irrigated with seawater can be used for biofuel more efficiently than other better-known crops and plants. The breakthrough comes as the aviation industry continues to seek ways to reduce the indirect land-use change, or ILUC, effects associated biofuels — for example, biofuel crops crowding out foodstocks and resulting in deforestation as more crops are planted.

The latest Boeing-UAE breakthrough involves halophytes, plants whose seeds contain oil that is suitable for biofuel production. Research indicates that the entire shrub-like plant can be turned into biofuel effectively. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, an affiliate of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will test these findings further. The SBRC is jointly funded by Boeing, Etihad Airways and Honeywell, with an aim to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel that will emit 50-80 percent less CO2 over its lifecycle than fossil fuel.

The tests will involve planting halophytes in Abu Dhabi’s desert environment and irrigating them with waste seawater from a local seafood farm. “Halophytes show even more promise than we expected as a source of renewable fuel for jets and other vehicles,” said SBRC director Alejandro Rios. “This project can have a global impact, since 97 percent of the earth’s water is ocean and 20 percent of the earth’s land is desert.”

‘Green diesel’ identified as sustainable aviation biofuel

Posted by Boeing on 22/01/14

Boeing researchers have identified green diesel as a potential aviation biofuel of high sustainability, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by at least half over its lifecycle. Boeing said last week that it is working to gain approval from government agencies for aircraft use of renewable green diesel, which is already used in ground transport.

Biofuel research in a Boeing laboratory in Seattle.

Biofuel research in a Boeing laboratory in Seattle.

Green diesel — chemically distinct from biodiesel — is made from fats and oils, and Boeing’s researchers have found it to have a chemical profile similar to today’s sustainable aviation biofuels, meaning it could be blended directly with conventional jet fuel. Moreover, U.S. and European industry has existing capacity to provide 600 million gallons per year, accounting for up to 1 percent of current global aviation fuel needs at a price — $3 per gallon, given government incentives — competitive with conventional fuel.

“Green diesel approval would be a major breakthrough in the availability of competitively priced, sustainable aviation fuel,” says James Kinder, a Technical Fellow in Boeing Commercial Airplanes Propulsion Systems Division. “We are collaborating with our industry partners and the aviation community to move this innovative solution forward and reduce the industry’s reliance on fossil fuel.”

The green diesel initiative is part of Boeing’s long-term commitment to sustainable growth in aviation, following its Optimal Flights programme and ecoDemonstrator aircraft. Boeing is also part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, an alliance of aviation industry participants seeking to develop sustainable biofuels that avoid adverse local land-use and environmental effects while lowering CO2 emissions overall.

“Boeing wants to establish new pathways for sustainable jet fuel, and this green diesel initiative is a groundbreaking step in that long journey,” adds Boeing executive Julie Felgar, managing director of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Environmental Strategy and Integration. “To support our customers, industry and communities, Boeing will continue to look for opportunities to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint.”

Parliament committee continues debating Commission proposal on emissions

Posted by Boeing on 21/01/14

Amendments to Peter Liese’s draft report on the European Commission’s compromise proposal for including aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme have recently been made available, with the Parliament’s Environment Committee tentatively scheduled to vote at its 30 January meeting after discussing them on 23 January.

In light of decisions taken at the ICAO Assembly last fall, the Commission had proposed continuing to limit full imposition of ETS on non-EU airlines but to factor in for emissions control purposes the distance travelled within EU airspace by all airlines whether EU-based or not. This proposal contrasted with the full imposition of ETS and with the “stop the clock” proposal adopted last spring, which suspended ETS application to all flights into or out of European airspace, for EU and non-EU carriers alike.

Liese’s draft report late in 2013 generally agreed with the Commission’s proposal, although he proposed altering it by limiting its effectiveness to 2016, when the ICAO Assembly is next scheduled to meet, so that if progress is not made the full ETS can be implemented.

MEPs offered several amendments to Liese’s report during a debate on 17 December:

  • Rejecting the Commission’s proposal outright
  • Maintaining the current “stop the clock” derogation
  • Imposing a 50-50 emissions control model, either immediately or in 2016 should ICAO propose what the Parliament considers an inadequate solution
  • Equal treatment for commercial and non-commercial operators

Numerous MEPs supported allowing ICAO to develop a broad-based global market-based mechanism for reducing emissions. “An international ICAO agreement offers the best prospects of a sustainable long-term solution,” said Georgios Koumoutsakos.

“It would be irresponsible for the EU to unilaterally renege on the commitments it made at the last ICAO assembly in October 2013. Deciding to do this would seriously jeopardise the conclusion of a global agreement and expose the European air transport sector to retaliatory measures,” Françoise Grossetête, Christine De Veyrac, and Dominique Riquet explained as justification for several amendments.

The aviation industry supports a global framework under ICAO as the most appropriate means to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. Boeing believes as well that the best approach to reducing aviation emissions is a global approach and is of the view that the previous “stop the clock” proposal represented a pragmatic step in the direction to allow a more constructive dialogue in the ICAO negotiations towards a global sectoral agreement on aviation emissions.

2013 in review

Posted by Boeing on 23/12/13

As we look forward to the new year and reflect on 2013, it is worth taking stock of what has taken place in our industry. Aviation in Europe saw several important developments in 2013:

  • Tensions with non-EU countries had risen over the inclusion of aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, with foreign countries at odds over how their flagged airlines would be assessed. This spring saw those tensions ease as the EU decided to ‘stop the clock‘ on aviation in the ETS.
  • In September, the next step in that process was taken as the ICAO General Assembly reached a historic agreement to develop a market-based framework for controlling emissions on a global scale. This might be too slow for some MEPs, however. This was followed in October by the Commission’s proposal to re-adjust the ETS so that that aviation emissions would be covered for the part of flights that takes place in European regional airspace.
  • Meanwhile, the Parliament moved in an environmentally progressive direction by capping the use of first-generation biofuels with unintended ILUC, or indirect land-use change, effects, while member states have not reached yet a final position on the dossier. From its side, the aviation industry has been focusing on developing environmentally sustainable advanced biofuels.
  • And the Commission took the next step toward the deployment of SESAR, developing the technology and systems that will make the Single European Sky possible — saving air passengers and airlines time, money, and environmental impact.
  • Finally, the aviation industry took several major steps toward further sustainability, with IATA committing to carbon-neutral growth, ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme being named a World You Like Challenge finalist, and Boeing testing its ecoDemonstrator and committing to carbon-neutral growth by 2017.

What developments do you expect to see in 2014? What developments would you like to see? Let us know in the comments, and Happy New Year!

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