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AEF helps set UN aviation environment agenda

1st December, 2010

Based in Montreal and established in 1944, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations set up to develop recommended standards and practices for international aviation.  ICAO link.

ICAO’s 190 contracting states meet every 3 years at an Assembly (the last Assembly being in October 2010). The organisation is run by an elected Council comprising 35 states with permanent representatives.

ICAO’s environmental work programme is undertaken largely through its Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). Both states and observer organisations participate in CAEP’s work. The environmental NGOs have been represented at CAEP since 1998 through an umbrella organisation, the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA). ICSA link.

Mirroring the Assembly timetable, CAEP works on a 3-yearly cycle ending with a plenary session timed to provide recommendations to Council that can be approved and then ratified at the Assembly. (Each CAEP cycle is referred to by a sequential number. The current CAEP 9 cycle started in 2010 and will conclude early in 2013.)

CAEP has traditionally focused on setting standards for aircraft, including the noise certification requirements and the NOx engine standards. Other working groups have addressed operations, modelling and databases and forecasting and economics, as well as market-based measures.

AEF participated on behalf of ICSA in the working group that examined a range of potential market-based measures (1998-2004): a task force to develop guidance on the use of emissions charges (2004-2007); a task force to develop guidance for states on emissions trading and aviation (2004-2007); a second market-based measures task force (2007-10). AEF is currently rapporteur for the Aviation Carbon Calculator Support group.