Canadian Manufacturing

Feds unveil plan to reduce aviation GHG emissions

Aims for two per cent improvement in fuel efficiency every year until 2020.

A plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the aviation industry was released today by the federal government.

Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation sets a target of improving fuel efficiency by at least two per cent per year until 2020.

Officials say the action plan is in-line with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Assembly Resolution A37-19, which was adopted in October 2010 and sets voluntary goals for international aviation emissions. Member states were asked to submit plans by June 2012.

“It brings together the joint efforts of the aviation industry to increase fuel efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and protect the long-term health of Canadians. We are working together to reduce aviation emissions and lower fuel costs,” Steven Fletcher, Canada’s minister of state for transport, said.

The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, the Air Transport Association of Canada, the Canadian Airports Council, the Canadian Business Aviation Association, the National Airlines Council of Canada and Nav Canada, have also committed to the action plan.

The two per cent reduction in emissions is expected to be achieved through three primary strategies:

• Fleet renewals and upgrades;
• More efficient air operations;
• Improved capabilities in air traffic management.

Improving air traffic management is expected to yield a one to two per cent improvement in fuel efficiency annually. Bringing in newer, more efficient airplanes into service is expected to result in annual improvements of 0.7 per cent while improving air operations is expected to contribute 0.2 per cent.

This builds on an agreement the government had formed with Canadian airlines in 2005 to improve fuel efficiency by 1.1 per cent each year until 2012—a total cumulative improvement of 24 per cent compared to 1990. As of 2010, the industry had surpassed the goals of the agreement by achieving 1.9 per cent annual improvements in fuel efficiency, or a 31 per cent cumulative improvement.

Officials say the new action plan will also further the government’s larger plan of reducing Canada’s total GHG emissions by 17 per cent—compared to 2005 levels— by 2020.

In 2011, transportation accounted for 23 per cent—171 megatonnes (Mt)—of Canada’s total GHG emissions, according to Environment Canada.+ Aviation was responsible for five per cent or 8.5 Mt.

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