Progress on ICAO's Strategic Objectives — Environmental Protection — Environment-related Standards and Guidance material on noise, local air quality and climate change

Environment-related Standards and Guidance material on noise, local air quality and climate change


Non-Volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) Standard


Progress was made on the development of nvPM mass and number Standards, for consideration by the CAEP/11 meeting in 2019, as part of the proposed amendments to Annex 16, Volume II. The development of this Standard was supported by a data-driven cost-effectiveness analysis of stringency options and their applicability. In addition, a “nvPM compliance checklist ” was developed to support engine manufacturers and certification authorities to verify compliance of the nvPM measurements with ICAO Annex 16, Volume II.


Integrated Independent Expert Technology Goals Assessment and Review


Work on the Independent Experts Integrated Technology Goals Assessment and Review for Engines and Aircraft was finalized and will be presented to the CAEP/11 meeting in 2019. This is the first time that an integrated approach to noise, engine emissions and CO2 has been applied. A major benefit of this new approach was to enable the harmonization of all technology reviews and goals on noise, NOx and CO2 emissions to have the same mid- (2027) and long- (2037) term dates.


Airports and Operations


Progress was achieved in several work items related to airports and operations, such as Environmental Community Engagement for Performance-Based Navigation (PBN), Operational Opportunities to Reduce Aircraft Noise, Environmental Analysis of Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) Block 1, Climate Adaptation Synthesis, and Aircraft end-of-life and Recycling.


Two e-publications were developed and released under the “Eco-Airport Toolkit E-collection”, namely “Waste Management at Airports” and “An Environmental Management System for Airports”.


Supersonic Noise and Engine Emissions Standards


Work progressed on the development of new noise and engine emissions Standards for supersonic aircraft, focusing on the collection of relevant data for the undertaking of sound analysis, and in accordance with the CAEP Terms of Reference (technical feasibility, economic reasonableness, environmental benefit, and interdependencies). The availability of data on the flight profiles and performance of future supersonic aircraft will represent a fundamental aspect of this work.


Sustainable Aviation Fuels


In March 2018, the ICAO Council endorsed the Declaration of the second ICAO Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/2), including the 2050 ICAO Vision for Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The 2050 ICAO Vision was endorsed as a living inspirational path and calls on States, industry and other stakeholders, for substitution of a significant proportion of conventional aviation fuels with sustainable aviation fuels by 2050. As requested by the CAAF/2, ICAO has been preparing for future stocktaking activities throughout 2018, including through numerous updates to the ICAO Global Framework for Aviation Alternative Fuels (GFAAF), which contains over 600 announcements to date.


ICAO continued to collate the latest information on sustainable aviation fuels. In 2018, 56 new announcements were added to the ICAO GFAAF. The GFAAF also contains details of 35 past and ongoing initiatives, 15 of which were active in 2018, the answers to frequently asked questions; facts and figures; and an aviation live feed that allows users to view, in real time, aircraft flying on alternative fuels. It also includes a section providing other resources, such as reports and publications related to SAF. Included in this list of resources are the feasibility studies on the use of sustainable aviation fuels in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, developed within the context of ICAO’s partnership with the European Union, and the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Guide, developed within the context of ICAO’s partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).


Cooperation with other international bodies


Cooperation continued with other international organizations involved in policy making in the field of Climate Change, notably with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that convened its intersessional meeting in Bonn, Germany in May 2018, and its 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. During these meetings, ICAO provided a statement and submissions related to recent developments on international aviation and climate change. The UNFCCC process discussed the establishment of a new market mechanism and cooperative approaches referred to in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and by the end of COP24 agreed on the Paris Rulebook, which represents the “operating manual” needed for the Paris Agreement to enter force in 2020. The rulebook covers several technical issues, such as how countries should report their greenhouse gas emissions or contributions to climate finance, as well as what rules should apply to voluntary market mechanisms, such as carbon trading. Some issues related to Article 6 rules for voluntary carbon markets where consensus was not reached were deferred to 2019 COP25 in Chile.


ICAO attended the Mid-Term Technical Segment of the 24th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the UN Environmental Management Group (EMG) which discussed, among others, issues relevant to the activities of ICAO such as E-waste, Climate Neutrality and Sustainability Management of UN operations, peer reviews of environmental management of UN entities, the UN System-Wide Framework of Strategies on the Environment, and EMG communication activities.


ICAO also contributed to the Green Mobility Chapter in the Global Roadmap of Actions Report, prepared by the Green Mobility Working Group established within the framework of the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4ALL).


ICAO has provided inputs to the World Health Organization (WHO) with regard to the development of the “WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region”. During the stakeholders’ consultation process initiated by the WHO, ICAO provided an extensive list of comments for the consideration of WHO. Amongst the main issues raised by ICAO was the lack of rigour in considering and interpreting scientific evidence that associates noise with health, and the consequential transportation policy recommendations that would disproportionately impact the aviation sector. Additionally, no cost-effectiveness analysis was done to support the recommendations laid out in the guidelines, despite the significant impacts they would present in the aviation sector.

Share this page: