AEA, IATA welcomes ICAO agreement on aviation emissions

The Association of European Airlines (AEA), representing Europe’s most important network carriers, has welcomed the agreement reached on October 4 by the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to develop a global framework to reduce and manage aviation emissions.

After years of discussions and negotiations, delegates from the 191 member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) ratified the agreement last Friday. The framework agreement authorises the ICAO to develop a global mechanism known as market-based measures (MBM) over the next three years. Among other things, it may lead to taxing airlines for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Global aviation contributes less than 2 percent of all carbon emissions, but ICAO is looking to contain greenhouse emissions fully as the industry expands, especially in the developing world. Passenger demand is expected to double by 2030.

Voicing support to the MBM agreement, the AEA said: ‘Uniquely, the global aviation sector has unanimously resolved to work towards ‘market-based measures’ (MBMs) to incentivise emissions abatement while maintaining a level playing-field in what is a strongly competitive international industry. The ICAO agreement is an acknowledgement of the industry’s commitment.’

The AEA added: ‘The key to sustainability is technology, and the industry will continue to seek operational answers to flying more efficiently, but must have the infrastructure in place to deliver the potential benefits – in this respect the lack of a Single European Sky is a huge environmental burden.’

The airline industry has called the agreement ‘historic,’ being the first accord on climate change for any global sector. ‘Today was a great day for aviation, for the effort against climate change and for global standards and international co-operation,’ said Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 84 percent of the world’s air traffic. ‘Now we have a strong mandate and a short, three-year time frame to sort out the details,’ he added.

The European Union has also welcomed the Montreal agreement.

Calling upon the EU to reaffirm its leadership towards enabling consensus for developing a robust MBM mechanism, Mr. Athar Husain Khan, acting secretary general of AEA, said: Channelling the diversity within ICAO into a common purpose will be a challenging task, but ultimately the rewards will be enormous.’

Norwich Airport launches the Norwich International Aviation Academy

Norwich International Airport is planning to launch a major initiative to promote skills training apprenticeships in the aviation industry, Norwich Evening News 24 has reported.

Launched in partnership with KLM UK Engineering, the academy will provide a centre of excellence for education and skills training in aviation, delivered in partnership with the region’s education groups and local authorities. The new state of the art Aviation Academy is part of the airport’s expansion plans and follows its aeropark project.

The academy is supported by a core group of founding partners, including the University of East Anglia, the TEN Group, New Anglia local enterprise partnership, EAGIT training, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council. It will be based at the airport site, and will be equipped to provide training to 40 apprentices at any given time.

The Academy aims to create a ‘real world’ learning environment that includes a full size aeroplane, and to raise the standards of learning using innovative teaching techniques. It will focus on offering a broad education and skills training in aviation that will attract both local and international students.

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said: ‘One of the Airport’s core strategic objectives is to become a thriving centre of excellence in the aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business. This objective is core to the airport’s long-term sustainability for the benefit of the region, at a time when many regional airports across Europe are struggling and some are closing their doors for good. To achieve this objective the Airport must be able to offer the complete package to attract new business.’

Paul Chun, managing director of KLM UK Engineering, said: ‘The integral approach with education experts, local government and industry is an ideal start for success. I am very excited about the Norwich International Aviation Academy, it will position Norwich firmly on the aviation industry map. To interest future generations for jobs in aviation is crucial for a sustainable growth for our industry’.

Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, said: ‘This is a good move and very important for Norwich. As founder of Norwich For Jobs, which is backed by KLM UK Engineering and 50 other firms so far, I strongly support the proposals for an aeropark, which could create thousands of jobs in the local economy. To do that, we need more skilled engineers and the aviation academy will show we can do this in Norwich. I applaud the partners for working together to achieve this. I’d urge people interested in a great career to sign up.’

 

Government Accused of Lack of Vision by Aviation Experts

The UK government’s lack of strategy and long-term planning for the country’s aviation infrastructure has been criticised by a panel of senior aviation experts at the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) conference in Doha, Qatar.

At the core of the criticism is what the members of the panel see as the government dragging its feet on the urgent need to be building more airport capacity, and the fear that the rest of Europe and the world could sideline the UK if it failed to do so.

The chairman of the GTMC Air Working Party, and managing director of Horncastle Executive Travel, Peter Drummond said, ‘It’s incredible that the government does not understand the importance of airports, and has no long-term strategy. If we don’t get this on the agenda, the UK with its Victorian infrastructure will be sidelined.’ He went on to describe current government transport policy as ‘sticking bits of elastoplast over a gaping wound.’

Paul Johannesburg, vice-president of Qatar Airways, confirmed that he was seeing evidence that the UK was losing out on traffic from emerging markets, and the government’s lack of vision was already harming the UK economy.

Guy Stephenson, the Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer, said that there was very little coherence in government strategy, and that ‘raising aviation taxes while the Eurozone is going backwards is a toxic combination.’ He called on the air and business travel sectors to work with government. ‘We have to help the government sell a policy to the voters. We’ve got to try and create a positive climate and give government something positive to work with,’ he said.