Business aircraft manufacturers and operators had better tackle their environmental image sooner rather than later. Global warming has replaced noise as the number-one aviation-related environmental concern. The diagram on page 44 shows how easy it could be for green lobbies to persuade the public that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by business jets is even less acceptable than that of airliners.
Within a decade, operators of aircraft with an mtow of 19,000 pounds or more and flying in the airspace of the 25-state European Union (EU) will likely have to start paying for carbon dioxide emissions from their engines.
A new NASA study claims that man-made cirrus clouds formed by commercial jet engine exhaust might be responsible for increased surface temperatures detected in the U.S. between 1975 and 1994.
Climate data shows that cirrus cloud cover over the U.S. has increased by 1 percent per decade, and the report says the rise is likely due to commercial air traffic.
Massachusetts-based Executive Charter Services (ECS), in a joint program with an organization that promotes alternative energy, is giving its passengers an option it says helps offset the carbon dioxide emissions from corporate jets. Depending on the type of jet chartered, passengers can opt to pay an additional $20 to $42 per hour, on top of the hourly charter rate.
Private jet passengers whose consciences are troubled by their jet’s contribution to global warming can now rest easier with the new CarbonNeutral option for Air Partner’s JetCard block charter program. Customers pay a 2-percent supplement to their flight-hour costs, and Air Partner channels this money into four climate-friendly energy and technology projects to offset the damage done by the aircraft’s engine emissions.
The European Commission (EC) definitely wants to include aviation in the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) to cap the industry’s not-so-minor contribution to greenhouse effect gas emissions.
NASA has been studying various types of emissions from commercial aircraft to develop ways to reduce emissions and protect the environment. In recent years, fine-particle emissions from aircraft have been identified as possible contributors to global climate changes and to lower local air quality.
With fuel prices in a steep ascent, do airlines need further inducements from regulators to burn less jet-A? No, says the European Regions Airline Association in response to proposals to extend emissions trading to the air transport industry.
The UK intends to push for emissions trading for aviation when it heads the European Union for six months, beginning July 1. The UK told an EBACE audience in Geneva last month that the aviation community, including business aviation, must own up to its responsibilities. Operators flying older aircraft with higher emissions might need to buy emissions credits from those with more efficient aircraft.
Users of corporate, business and executive aircraft in the UK are working to understand the implications of proposed new civil aviation rules, especially those governing emissions. The Civil Aviation Bill, published in June, covers the next 30 years’ development of air travel in the UK.