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New International Aircraft Emissions StandardJuly 18–The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently took another step to make aviation “greener” when it unanimously approved a metric that will be the basis for developing the first-ever carbon dioxide standard for commercial aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) played a key role in making progress toward a new international standard.

“A core element of the Obama Administration’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in aviation is to support development and integration of new, more fuel-efficient technologies,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.  “This international agreement underscores our nation’s commitment and the commitment of other countries to make aviation as environmentally efficient as possible.”

The FAA is a member of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP).  Recently, the CAEP was charged with developing a new standard as more scientific evidence has found that CO2 contributes significantly to global warming. A team of technical experts from the FAA, together with experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), worked closely with experts from other ICAO member countries to develop this new CO2 metric for aircraft.  The new metric, which is based on fuel-burn performance at three different cruise conditions and accounts for different aircraft sizes, now lays the groundwork for development of an internationally agreed upon CO2 aircraft standard.

The FAA has long been a leader in making aviation as environmentally friendly as possible.  At the heart of the FAA’s work in developing the Next Generation of Air Transportation system, or NextGen, is the promise of more direct routes that will reduce fuel and emissions.  In addition, the FAA has been working with its academic and industry partners to develop sustainable alternative fuels, as well as more efficient aircraft engine and body designs through the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and the agency’s Continuous Lower Energy, and Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) programs.

To learn more about the CO2 metric system go to: http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/new-progress-on-aircraft-CO2-standard.aspx