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European airports to cut 500,000 tonnes of CO2 annually by 2013

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Geneva – Starting in 2013, up to 100 European airports will take part in a plan to reduce CO2 emissions over the continent’s airspace by half a million tonnes a year, aviation industry groups said Tuesday.

The plan to the use the so-called Continuous Descent Approach for landing, where aircraft fly a smooth approach into an airport rather than the classical stepped approach, announced at the Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva, would reduce carbon output, fuel usage and the noise around the airport by between 1 and 5 decibels.

Industry officials have described the approach as a “win-win for all.”

Quentin Browell, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, said the plan would take a few years to roll out, explaining the delay in implementation.

He said trials had been conducted at specific airports before, “but this is the first time a region as a whole set such a target.”

While the new plan would apply to European airports, all carriers, regardless of nationality or point of origin, would have to adapt to the new measures, according to Browell.

A success in Europe could lead to similar plans in other parts of the world.

The airline industry was also looking to start using bio-fuels within the next few years.

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