ICAO meeting may set Critical Environmental Aviation Standards

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ARTICLE: World States Gather to Endorse New Roadmap for Sustainable Global Aviation Progress


The International Civil Organization is a body which typically moves in small increments. Its processes and its consensus mandate result in years of gestation of proposals. Meetings, amendments and dialogue seem interminable to most outside observers. The product of the ICAO transubstantiation of broad, diverse and even conflicting views is the establishment of a set of standards which the aviation countries of the world support.

This review of what and how ICAO does its business successfully is optimistically a prediction of the current Assembly’s final actions on greenhouse gas emissions. This meeting is set in the background of years of pointed debate over the EU’s ETS proposal.

The monumental nature of this final consideration is outlined in this paragraph of the ICAO press release:

The Organization’s States had previously set out a global aspirational goal for the sector of carbon neutral growth from 2020. To achieve this, a broad range of measures including operational refinements, alternative fuels, new technologies and improved government awareness and planning are being pursued. ICAO is progressing on all these fronts through the development of a CO2 standard for aircraft, the creation of guidance material on the environmental benefits of operational improvements and supporting progress on a globally-acceptable MBM solution for international flights, just to name a few of its environmental initiatives.

One knowledgeable US aviation advocate has summarized where she believes that the global body should end its debate.

The actions at Montreal during this Assembly will be closely followed by all elements of the world aviation community. ICAO may take a giant step to set these environmental standards and thereby end a most contentious debate.

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