IBAC Emissions Policy

IBAC Policy 30-5

Subject: Emissions

Original: January 15, 2004
Revised: May 7, 2009



The business aviation industry is resolved to address the environmental impact attributed to aircraft operations by mitigating carbon generation through performance–based operator programs and reducing the emissions of business aircraft operations through new technologies, infrastructure improvements and operational procedures.

The business aviation industry will collect and communicate verifiable data that identifies actions taken by the Business Aviation community as responsible stewards of the environment.


This policy presents the business aviation position on emissions attributable to business aircraft. Emphasis is given to emissions impacting climate change through CO2 production but the policy also addresses emissions that impact local air quality.

Although business aircraft produce relatively small amounts of emissions, the industry accepts its responsibility and obligation to participate in global aviation action to mitigate environmental impact of emissions.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports in “Aviation and the Global Atmosphere” that:
– of global CO2 man-made emissions, it is estimated that the total civil aviation contribution is of the order of 2%, and
– of CO2 emissions attributable to overall civil aviation operations, it is estimated that general aviation contributes only a very small proportion (i.e. of the order of 2% of all aviation operations).

Notwithstanding the size of the global business aviation turbine fleet, the relative performance of business aviation aircraft is such that typical engine emission products, combined with the significantly lower annual business aircraft utilization results in a contribution to CO2 emissions that is extremely low (i.e. of the order of 0.04% of global man-made emissions).

However, business aviation supports reasonable and constructive efforts to achieve meaningful and progressive reduction of aircraft emissions, consistent with the highest standards of safe and efficient aircraft operations. These efforts also consider the continued, unconstrained access to airspace and airports without reducing safety, airport capacity or operational efficiency.

Business aviation fully supports efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to introduce performance-based rules. The concept of rule making based on performance outcomes rather than prescriptive actions has proven an effective aviation safety enhancement.  Business aviation considers such a performance based approach to be equally effective for emissions management given the significant number of possible methodologies available for mitigating the impacts attributable to aircraft emissions.

The business aviation position presented in this policy is supported by the following documents:

A. Business Aviation Environmental Brief.

B. A Global Approach to Reducing Business Aviation Emissions (A Report by Bombardier).

C. Model Emissions Programs for Business Aircraft Operators.

D. Engine Improvements in Business Aviation.

E. Airframe Improvements in Business Aviation

Business Aviation Statement on Climate Change (a combined IBAC and GAMA position) – published on the IBAC website).

Policy Overview

Business aviation operators support a multi-path approach to mitigating aircraft emission impacts on the environment.  This policy addresses both climate change and local air quality concerns. The core elements of the strategy are:

1. Implement operator emission management programs in incremental stages commencing with international operations.

2. Reduce carbon emissions in business aircraft operations.

3. Promote the design of low emissions engines and airframes that are technically feasible and economically reasonable.

4. Achieve airspace efficiencies through new technology and operational procedures.

5. Implement operational best practices for operators.

6. Support reasonable NOx and CO2 Emission certification standards for aircraft in ICAO Annex 16.

7. Support harmonization with ICAO Policies, Standards and Recommended Practices and Guidelines.

8. Promote improved emissions data collection programs.

Business Aviation Policy

Given that:

1. Individual business aircraft operators generally have few aircraft (operators average between 1 and 2 aircraft); there is a need for a distinct concept for environmental stewardship.

2. Some operators currently apply different carbon neutral schemes, and under any new concept these progressive and responsible programs should be recognized. For example, some flight departments are included in parent company emission offset or trading schemes or in third party schemes.

3. Performance-based measures have proven to be an effective regulatory measure for safety management and will be equally effective for environmental applications.

4.  Non-prescriptive solutions can provide equivalent benefit without costly administrative burden.

5. Attention to interdependencies between environmental standards for noise and various emission types is needed.

6. Operational efficiencies can be achieved by increasing the number of available airports thus reducing fuel burn in the air and on the ground.

7. Substantive improvements in technology are achievable, particularly in the form of alternative fuels.

The business aviation policy is to:

a. in respect to current CO2 emissions, to:
Promote performance-based operator emission programs in which operators will establish how they effectively manage carbon reduction.
i)    in international operations by 2014 .
ii)    in all operations by 2016.

b. in respect to a performance based approach:
A number of model Emissions Programs are to be developed and provided to operators to enable the development of performance-based emissions programs to be implemented by operators.

c. in respect to market-based measures, to:
Recognize that market-based measures are a cost effective method of reducing the impact of aviation emissions on the environment. Fully support ICAO Assembly Resolution A36-22 that affirms the continuing validity of ICAO Council’s Resolution of 9 December 1996, wherein the Council strongly recommends that any emission-related levies be in the form of charges rather than taxes, and that the funds collected should be applied to mitigating the environmental impact of aircraft engine emissions. Assembly Resolution A36-22 also urges Contracting States to refrain from unilateral implementation of greenhouse gas emissions charges.

d. in respect to airspace efficiencies, to:
Promote early implementation of the Global Air Navigation Plan and to encourage business aircraft operators to upgrade navigation, communications and surveillance equipment.

e.  in respect to airport operations and access
Promote best practices for operations on airports to minimize fuel burn and maximize the number of airports available to business aviation in order to improve fuel efficiencies on the ground and operations to and from airports.

f. in respect to engines and airframes, to collaborate with manufacturers’ contributions to achieve :
1.    Carbon-neutral growth by 2020;
2.    Improving fuel efficiency by 2% per year to 2020;
3.    Reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 relative to 2005.

g.  in respect to operational best practices, to:
Develop and promote operational guidelines for business aircraft operators with the objective of reducing emissions, particularly in respect application of new satellite based navigation technologies.
h.    in respect to ICAO Emissions Certification Standards (Annex 16), to:
Fully support the three ICAO principles that changes must result in an environmental benefit,  changes must be technically achievable, and changes must be cost-effective.

i. in respect to alternative fuels
Support manufacturers and research organizations to find appropriate alternative fuels to replace or supplement carbon based fuels.

j. in respect to fuel efficiency metrics
Work within the CAEP environment to develop an alternative metric for determining future ICAO targets for tracking the fuel efficiency as it may be applicable to future tracking related to global climate change (potential replacement for the Kyoto Accord under the UNFCCC process.)

k. in respect to local rule development, to:
Support  application of ICAO policy and guidance and urge States/Airport Operators to refrain from the adoption of rules unique to a State or local jurisdiction.

l. in respect to improving data on emissions, to:
Coordinate action by operators, airframe and engine manufacturers and service providers to develop reliable emissions data.

Source of Policy: (1) Original, Governing Board, mail vote 15 January 2004.

(2) Revised, Governing Board (GB/51), 7 May 2010.