FAA Finalizes Rule to Reduce Carbon Particle Emissions from Aircraft Engines

Friday, April 26, 2024

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a final rule to limit carbon particles emitted by subsonic aircraft engines. 

What the rule does: The rule sets maximum standards for the amount of non-volatile particulate matter (nvPM) emissions from U.S. civil aircraft engines. It aligns with Environmental Protection Agency recommendations and International Civil Aviation Organization standards. 

“This first-of-its-kind rule in the United States will reduce the environmental impact of civil aviation on our health and climate,” said Laurence Wildgoose, assistant administrator for the FAA’s Office of Policy, International Affairs and Environment. 

Why the rule is important: Ultrafine carbon particles that aircraft engines produce are an inhalation concern for humans. Also, nvPM emissions can become the nucleus for persistent contrails, meaning that the line-shaped clouds behind some jet engines expand into broader cloudiness that may affect the planet.  

Engine manufacturers will have new emissions standards to follow to reduce harmful effects to health and the environment. This new rule gives manufacturers certainty about nvPM emissions criteria that they can use in developing the next generation of aircraft engines.  

This action is part of the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan that sets out to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. aviation sector by 2050. Find more information about the FAA and its environmental efforts at its Sustainability Gateway Page.