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EASA – Aviation Environmental Impact Report

05 March 2020

A robust scientific understanding of the environmental impacts from aviation is an essential basis for informed policy discussions, and for the development of effective mitigation measures that achieve the desired outcome in a cost-effective way. This chapter provides an overview of the latest scientific understanding on the noise, air quality and climate change impacts from the aviation sector.

Aviation emissions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. In October 2018, the IPCC published its Special Report into the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to support the Paris Agreement process. It concluded that climate warming due to human activities is currently estimated to increase by 0.2°C per decade due to past and ongoing emissions. In order to stabilise warming at 1.5°C, global net CO2 emissions from human activities would have to decline to 45% of 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050.

The IPCC considers carbon dioxide (CO2) as the principal greenhouse gas. Aviation represents approximately 2 to 3% of the total annual global CO2 emissions from human activities and, in addition to CO2, has impacts on climate from its non-CO2 emissions (e.g. NOX, particles).

How to quantify climate impacts?

Greenhouse gases and other emissions have complex effects on climate. The most common indicator of climate impact is a metric called ‘Radiative Forcing (RF)’, measured in watts per square metre (W/m2). It represents the change since pre-industrialization, taken as 1750, in the balance between the energy received by the Earth from the Sun and the energy the Earth radiates back into space. RF is used as there is a good relationship between a change in global mean RF and climate warming in the form of a change in global mean equilibrium surface temperature. It is also simpler to calculate than changes in global mean surface temperature, with positive values implying warming and negative values cooling.

Overall radiative forcing and aviation’s contribution

Since the late 19th century, an overall climate warming of 0.78oC from man-made greenhouse gas emissions has resulted from a total RF increase of 2.29 W/m2. A comprehensive assessment of aviation RF effects was last undertaken in 2009 [104] for a base year of 2005. The overall RF was 0.078 W/m2, which represented 4.9% of the total RF increase as assessed by the IPCC for the Fourth Assessment Report.

Climate effects from aviation emissions

CO2

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuel accumulate in the atmosphere and can remain there for hundreds to thousands of years. Thus, in accounting for aviation CO2 RF, emissions from the beginning of ‘significant’ civil aviation activities, usually taken as 1940, are used in the calculations of the marginal contribution of aviation to overall CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Of the overall aviation RF for 2005, CO2 RF was approximately 40%. The other 60% originates from non-CO2 emissions.

The level of scientific understanding for this effect is ‘high’.

NOx

The overall RF effect from aircraft nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions at cruise altitude, via atmospheric chemistry, has a warming effect from the formation of short-term tropospheric ozone (O3) and a near counterbalancing cooling effect from a reduction in ambient methane (CH4). The overall balance is a positive RF and warming effect. Since 2009, smaller additional negative RF effects (cooling) associated with the CH4 reduction have been identified and quantified, but the overall balance still remains one of warming.

The level of scientific understanding for this effect is ‘medium – low’.

Contrail-cirrus clouds

Contrails are the line-shaped ice clouds formed behind cruising aircraft, and their presence and longevity are a function of the conditions of the background atmosphere. If the atmosphere is sufficiently cold and icesupersaturated, these linear contrails can spread into large cirrus-cloud like structures. Such individual clouds can have both warming and cooling effects, although the overall global mean response is considered to be warming.

Improvements have been made in the quantification of both linear contrail RF and contrail-cirrus RF. As can be observed, contrails can spread into large cirrus cloudlike structures, which are estimated to have a larger RF impact than linear contrails. The IPCC estimated that persistent contrails had an RF of around 0.010 W/m2, and a combined RF with contrail-cirrus of around about 0.050 W/m2.

This is 2 to 3 times the RF from historical aviation CO2 emissions, but has a much wider uncertainty range than that of CO2.

The level of scientific understanding for this effect is ‘very low’.

Particles (direct effects)

Particles of soot and sulphate have a very small direct RF in terms of warming and cooling, respectively.

The level of scientific understanding for these effects are ‘low’.

Cloudiness

The more recently discussed ‘indirect’ effects on cloud formation are also potentially important. It is not known whether the overall effect of soot particles on high-level clouds is warming or cooling, or if the magnitude is substantial or negligible in comparison with other non-CO2 effects of aviation. The sulphate particles, however, have a well-understood negative RF effect, due to the lower-level cloud modification of droplet size distribution and optical brightness, but with an associated high level of uncertainty. Clearly much more work needs to be done to understand the magnitude and potential sign of these indirect cloudiness effects.

The level of scientific understanding for these effects are assessed as ‘very low’, by analogy based on underlying original research papers.

Conclusions

CO2 emissions from aviation continue to increase steadily, and so does the CO2 RF. Non-CO2 impacts are also expected to have increased, roughly in proportion to fuel use. The non-CO2 impacts still have larger uncertainties than those associated with CO2, particularly impacts on clouds.

The high level of scientific understanding of the climate effect from aviation CO2 emissions, combined with the longterm impacts of CO2, make it a clear and important target for mitigation efforts. Nonetheless, non CO2 impacts cannot be ignored as they potentially represent approximately 60% of total climate impacts that are important in the shorter term (excluding cloudiness impacts). However, it worth noting that the level of scientific understanding of the magnitude of non-CO2 impacts is medium to very low, and these knowledge gaps remain to be addressed.

Adapting aviation to a changing climate

1. Impacts on European aviation

Climate change continues to be a growing risk to the aviation sector, and stakeholders will need to consider this as part of their planning process and future investments. The impacts of climate change on the European aviation sector will vary according to geography, climate zone and local circumstances The understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on the aviation sector is continuing to evolve. During the period 2015-2018, the following new research results on climate adaptation have been published:

  • More turbulence: Climate change is expected to strengthen the North-Atlantic jet stream, thereby causing an increase in both the frequency and strength of moderate and severe en route clear-air turbulence along transatlantic flight paths. However, new technologies are under development to both improve detection of potential areas of turbulence, and to exchange information between airspace users.
  • Changes in trans-Atlantic flight times: Changes to the strength of the North-Atlantic jet stream are likely to cause eastbound flights to be quicker and westbound flights to be slower. However, the overall effect is expected to be an increase in flight times and therefore fuel burn, emissions and costs. In early 2018 a new record of 5 hours 13 minutes was set for a New York-London flight time due to the temporarily increased strength of the jet stream.
  • Heat restrictions: Higher average and extreme temperatures will have an impact on the general performance of aircraft. This is due to the fact that, as air temperature increases, air density decreases and lift is reduced so more thrust and runway length are required for take-off. It is not a new issue, and several airports around the globe already schedule departures for heavier aircraft at cooler times of the day to account for higher temperatures, higher altitudes or shorter runways. However, as the impact of climate change increases, such situations would become more common and require changes in schedules or reductions in payloads (cargo and passengers).

2. Adaptation action in Europe
The EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change  provides a framework for adaptation with the purpose of increasing resilience and enhancing capacity to address climate change impacts. It includes three main objectives: (i) promote action by Member States, (ii) carry-out ‘climate-proofing’ action at EU level and (iii) facilitate betterinformed decision-making. The Strategy is accompanied by a European Climate Adaptation online platform, which contains information on aviation infrastructure impacts and potential adaptation measures. In September 2016, the Commission launched an evaluation of the Strategy which is due to be completed by the end of 2018.

An increasing number of organisations are starting to take action to adapt aviation to a changing climate, with initiatives at European, national, and organisational levels. In 2018, EUROCONTROL conducted a follow-up to its 2013 survey asking European aviation stakeholders’ views on climate adaptation, and the results are summarised. It highlights that while organisations are becoming more aware of the risks from climate change, not all of them have begun planning to adapt to this impact. Some Member States include transport in their National Adaptation Plans, whilst others have launched specific aviation adaptation programmes. Industry organisations, such as airports and air navigation service providers, are also carrying out climate change risk assessments and putting adaptation plans in place Pre-emptive action is often considered as the best way to avoid future costs and damage. Potential risks and impacts will also vary greatly according to the specific local situation.


The survey was sent to about 200 organisations and 90 responded. Feedback covered all of the main European climate zones. Respondents were from a range of aviation stakeholders including civil aviation organisations, airport operators, ANSPs and airlines.

The post EASA – Aviation Environmental Impact Report appeared first on Linkline Journal - Ireland.

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Five on the Fly: Urbantz with Byron Dunne

Urbantz general manager for UK, Ireland & Northern Europe Byron Dunne answers Linkline’s ‘Five on the Fly’ about some the challenges and future of his sector.

What have the challenges been in your sector?

Tradition and more importantly lack of risk taking. The logistics industry is very traditional and to an extent risk averse. Many of the more important roles within the larger organisations change hands between the same people. Thus a very challenging environment to implement change as naturally these profiles bring the knowledge and tradition they have been used t,oo from one company to the next, thus inhibiting change.

This is a major roadblock for innovation as not many of these individuals have the experience to implement game changing strategies, and when they do they put the job on the line as margins are tight, volumes are growing and resources are restricted.

How did you/the organisation adapt? 

Education. We are in contact with C-Level Logistics and Supply Chain management throughout Europe. Opinions differ in each country together with legislation. Certain countries are very open to finding and testing new strategies to stay ahead of the game, or at least keep up with the game, others are experts at identifying problems, complaining about them and not executing any plans.

We try to find common ground by advising these individuals and providing them with the technology they need should they decide to execute a plan of action. The media has created a lot of noise about what is trendy and what sells clicks, but the reality is that the majority of what the press predicts as the future of last mile is not relevant for the next 5 years. It’s important to cut through the noise, stick to the vision and push for change.

What lessons did you learn/ are you learning from this?

The last mile goes well beyond the walls of the Supply Chain and Logistics offices. The customer is having more and more influence on what the future of logistics will hold.

Logistics is no longer an isolated department that sources goods, operates fleets and manages operations. It has now become one of the most important elements in creating a brand, maintaining customer relationships and ensuring sales

What advice can you give based on your experience in this area thus far?

Embrace new ideas, new innovation and take some risks. Amazon has built a more efficient supply chain than the vast majority of traditional retailers and transport operators in the space of 10 years. It’s not magic, it’s forward thinking, disrupting and innovating that has put them where they are today.

What does the future hold?

Urban logistics is changing rapidly.  Consumer behaviour is also changing rapidly. Logistics processes, strategy and technology are not changing as quickly as they should be. The future is quite bleak for companies that are not embracing change  and they will be left behind.

For more information about Urbantz please visit their website www.urbantz.com

The post Five on the Fly: Urbantz with Byron Dunne appeared first on Linkline Journal - Ireland.

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Working Remotely

Dear  Members and Trainees ,

As the advice regarding the containment and delay phases for the Coronavirus continues to develop daily, I would like to assure all customers and partners of the continuity of our service.

Due to the cloud-based nature of our key systems, we will be working remotely  for the forceable future . This means that there should be no disruption to the availability of the scheduled ADR Exams for the following date: Naas 20 March 2020 and Galway 26 March 2020. Future information will be available  in due course. 

As always, we remain committed to our trainees  and members  with our high level of customer service. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates appropriately and promptly.

If you have any queries at all, please don't hesitate to contact the Institute by email at info@cilt.ie 

Many thanks

Mick Curran 

CILT CEO 

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Central Bank of Ireland: Expectations of Insurers during COVID 19 Crisis

  • Insurers must put forward consumer-focused solutions on policy payment breaks, rebates and claims 
  • While most insurance policies are clear, if  there is a doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer should prevail
  • The Central Bank expects the CEOs of Irish authorised firms to take responsibility for the oversight of how their firm is managing determinations of whether claims are covered or not in the context of COVID-19.

The Central Bank of Ireland has today set out its expectations of how regulated insurance firms should treat their customers in light of the significant economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Central Bank has written to the Chairs and CEOs of both life and general insurance firms requiring them to take account of the challenging situation in which many of their customers find themselves and to put forward consumer-focused solutions for insurance payment breaks, policy rebates and claims in light of the emergency.

Where a claim can be made because a business has closed as a result of a Government direction due to contagious or infectious disease, the Central Bank is of the view that that the recent Government advice to close a business in the context of COVID-19 should be treated as a direction.  This is a view that has also been set out by the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.  Firms must ensure that claims are appropriately assessed and where there is insurance cover in place that claims are accepted and paid promptly.

Where relevant, firms must proactively communicate in a clear, transparent manner to customers about the levels of cover provided by individual insurance policies including informing them, when renewing existing policies, if there are any changes to those policies arising from COVID-19. 

Firms must ensure that their customer-facing functions are adequately resourced to ensure that customer needs are met and queries are handled in an appropriate timeframe and that they have processes in place to engage positively with customers who are experiencing difficulties in the payment of premiums as a result of COVID-19.

Firms must also engage with their intermediaries and partners to keep them fully informed at all times about the implications of COVID-19 for existing and new policies.
In relation to insurance claims, firms must ensure that they are fully compliant with the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code 2012 and all other relevant regulatory requirements. Any claim settlement offer made to a claimant must be fair, must take into account all relevant factors and must represent the firm’s best estimate of the claimant’s reasonable entitlement under the policy.

Firms must ensure that they handle claims effectively and properly and where appropriate to do so they must offer to assist their customers in the process of making a claim, including, where relevant, alerting the claimant to policy terms and conditions that may be of benefit to the claimant. Although the Central Bank expects that  most policy wordings are clear in terms of what cover is provided and what is excluded, where there is a doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer should prevail.

In the case of Irish authorised insurance

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