CANSO highlights air traffic management’s role in reducing emissions and urges States to modernise ATM infrastructure

11 May 2016

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) organised the Global Sustainable Aviation Forum on 10 May as a prelude to the High Level Meeting, convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 11-13 May, on a global carbon offsetting scheme for air transport.

Speakers at  the ATAG Forum included the ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, who highlighted the importance of agreeing to a global MBM at the ICAO Assembly. Aviation industry, suppliers, governments, ICAO Council members, regulators, NGOs, environmental groups and other interested parties exchanged views on matters relating to the aviation industry’s actions to tackle its climate change impacts. The central focus of the ATAG Forum was the on the 39th ICAO Assembly in September 2016, where it is expected that an historic agreement will be reached on the introduction of a global market-based measure (MBM) for aviation emissions.

CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, stated in his speech that CANSO and its members fully support the establishment of a global MBM. However, CANSO focused on the efforts that the ATM industry is taking to reduce emissions from aviation. He said that States have an important role to play in helping the industry in this task and urged States to invest in infrastructure, implement the Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) and work with each other to harmonise airspace. This will reduce carbon emissions through operational efficiencies such as: getting rid of fixed routes so aircraft can fly the most efficient and shortest flight path; allowing aircraft to fly at the optimum altitude and speed over oceanic airspace rather than mandating a fixed speed and altitude; smoother arrival and departure flight profiles at airports rather than traditional stepped profiles; and reducing delays through collaborative decision making between ATM, airports and airlines.

These messages were well received by States and we look forward to repeating them in our day to day dealings with States and with ICAO.

About the author

Nico Voorbach, Director ICAO and Industry Affairs CANSO

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