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International Operators Need to Prepare for CORSIA

International Operators Need to Prepare for CORSIA

Though most business aircraft operators are exempt from ICAO's emissions plan, operators meeting CORSIA criteria need to begin gathering international flight data and be prepared to present their emissions findings.

April 16, 2018

Operators should be aware of an upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) worldwide policy to curb inter-national aviation carbon emissions. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will require covered operators to purchase carbon credits, if their CO2 emissions exceed a 10,000-metric- ton annual threshold, to cover annual growth in international emissions above 2020 levels.

When fully implemented, CORSIA will require operators to determine a baseline emissions level by averaging their total CO2 emissions on international flights between 2019 and 2020. Approximately 74 nations, including the U.S., will stand up monitoring and reporting programs starting this year.

Few flight departments are likely to be subject to CORSIA requirements, but any company operating internationally and not covered by the exclusions should start gathering data to determine if it will be exempt.
– ELI COTTI Director of Technical Operations, NBAA

U.S. regulations to govern that process aren’t expected until late this year. However, once enacted, U.S. operators will need to submit a 2019 report based on 2018 international flight activity. Required data points include the date of flights between international city pairs, time en route, and total fuel burned.

NBAA’s Director of Technical Operations, Eli Cotti, encouraged operators that meet the CORSIA emissions or aircraft-weight criteria to start gathering their international flight data, either from flight logs or from reports mined from flight-data software. “At a minimum, operators should be able to derive CO2 emissions by calculating their fuel burn from international flights within the calendar year and be prepared to present their findings.”

ICAO also is developing a CO2 estimation and reporting tool that will enable operators, free of charge, to enter flight data to calculate the total fuel burn per year, based on arrival and departure airports in CORSIA-participating states, based on great circle routes and time aloft.

“Small emitters” – most business aircraft operators – come in under the 10,000-metric- ton annual threshold and will be exempt from CORSIA requirements. Cotti noted that most newer business jet fleets would need to fly internationally a combined 2,000 hours or more annually to reach that threshold; operators purchasing less than one million gallons of jet fuel annually would also likely be exempt.

“Few flight departments are likely to be subject to CORSIA requirements, but any company operating internationally and not covered by the exclusions should start gathering data to determine if it will be exempt.”

The small-emitter exemption was supported by NBAA. Aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds max takeoff weight are excluded from CORSIA, as are medevac, disaster relief or firefighting flights.

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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider. Download the magazine app for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.