Engine Emissions Certification

Regulated aircraft emissions include raw fuel vented to the atmosphere during normal engine shutdown, and the following products of combustion in engine exhaust for certain classes of engines: smoke (SN), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and oxides of nitrogen (NO x).

This page provides more information about certification requirements and the applicable agencies and regulations, including:

Which engines do the emissions certification requirements apply to?

The engine fuel venting and exhaust emissions certification requirements (14 CFR Part 34) apply to civil airplanes powered by aircraft gas turbine engines of the classes specified in the rule. The engines must have U.S. standard airworthiness certificates or foreign airworthiness certificates that are equivalent to U.S. standard airworthiness certificates. U.S. manufactured gas turbine engines or foreign manufactured gas turbine engines that are installed in U.S. manufactured Part 23 or Part 25 aircraft must show compliance to the 14 CFR Part 34 fuel venting and exhaust emissions requirements.

Who is authorized to set emissions certification requirements?

The Secretary of Transportation is mandated, by authority of Section 232 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), to "prescribe regulations to insure compliance with all standards prescribed by the Administrator" (of the Environmental Protection Agency). The EPA, similarly, gets its authority from Section 231 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that mandates EPA to determine "the extent to which such emissions affect air quality in air quality regions throughout the United States," and "the technological feasibility of controlling such emissions." The EPA sets the emissions standards and FAA sets and administers the certification requirements for aircraft and engines to demonstrate compliance with the emissions standards. In addition, Section 233 of the CAA prohibits states and local communities from setting their own standards.

What is the basis for of these requirements?

Independently, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued, as one of their International Standards and Recommendation Practices, Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Environmental Protection, Volume II, Aircraft Engine Emissions. The EPA has adopted, by reference in 40 CFR 87 selected sections of Annex 16 that describe requirements for sampling, measurement and the analytical determination of compliance. These requirements are reflected in 14 CFR 34 in:

The regulations are complex and offer challenges in arriving at and maintaining uniformity of interpretation and application by engine manufacturers and regulatory authorities. To address this problem, FAA has issued an Advisory Circular, AC 34-1B, Fuel venting and exhaust emissions requirements for turbine engine powered airplanes, and ICAO is in the process of developing an equivalent environmental technical manual, Volume II: Procedures for the Emissions Certification of Aircraft Engines.

What is the basis of fuel venting and exhaust emissions requirements?

The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970 directs EPA to establish air pollution standards, including those applicable to aircraft exhaust. Under Sections 231 and 232 of the CAA, EPA consults with FAA to ensure that the development and application of requisite technology is possible. The FAA issues regulations under 14 CFR Part 34 to enforce compliance with EPA emissions regulations under 40 CFR Part 87.

Who should I contact at FAA if I have a question about emissions certification?

You may contact FAA's emissions certification office at 202-267-____ or at email@faa.gov.

Last updated: Monday, September 14, 2015