The Aviation Blog

2013 in review

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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