UN aviation experts consider tougher emissions standards for planes

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A commercial plane approaches to land at San Diego International Airport as US telecommunications companies, airlines and the FAA continue to discuss the potential impact of 5G wireless services on aircraft electronics at San Diego, California, U.S., January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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MONTREAL, Feb 17 (Reuters) – UN aviation experts are once again discussing tougher emissions standards for commercial aircraft, less than six years before a previously agreed crackdown takes effect.

Support for a new emissions standard could put pressure on aircraft manufacturers, who need years to adjust to rule changes due to long production cycles, to stop producing their least efficient models, said two sources familiar with the talks.

Experts from the United States and some European countries backed tougher emissions standards at a virtual gathering of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) group this week, according to working papers and sources.

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One of the sources said ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) agreed on Thursday to draft new standards for civil aircraft, as part of broader efforts through 2025 to update aircraft noise and emissions rules.

But it remains unclear when proposed standards for commercial aircraft, such as those developed by aircraft makers Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus SE (AIR.PA), would be drafted and come into effect, and at what point they would be. would be strict, the source mentioned.

“It’s a real struggle to get it all done by 2025,” the source said.

The meeting comes as ICAO seeks broad agreement this fall on a long-term climate goal amid differences between Europe and China and growing pressure on aviation to cut emissions.

While any standard would take years to draft, gain country support and work its way through ICAO, the prospect of stricter emissions rules could potentially become one more headache for weary aircraft manufacturers. by the pandemic.

“Any new standard creates pressure for planners,” the second source said. “What we don’t know is how much pressure.”

The Montreal-based ICAO sets standards on everything from runway markings to accident investigations, which its 193 member states typically translate into regulatory requirements.

ICAO declined to comment before an official announcement.

The ICAO board has already backed emissions rules that would be phased in for existing planes built from 2023, with a 2028 deadline for planes that don’t meet the standard. , unless exempt.

Boeing Co (BA.N) has previously said it is weighing an exemption for its 767-300F, a popular freighter model that is otherwise expected to cease production in 2028.

ICAO experts have also supported the drafting of new standards for supersonic jets, the first source said.

Aircraft manufacturers wanted new engine noise and emissions standards for supersonic jets, to help the fledgling industry. Read more

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Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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