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Countdown for CORSIA begins

Aircraft operators and governments have been put on notice as the implementation of the new carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA) approaches.

That was the main message that was resonated to delegates at the Global Aviation Summit staged in Geneva, Switzerland. The gathering had delegates meeting to seek more information regarding the program, according to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).  Governments agreed to formulate the scheme at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly last October.

CORSIA has been geared to offset the rise in carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation after 2020. The first six years of the scheme will be voluntary for countries to participate. After that, it would be made mandatory “for all but the smallest aviation markets.”

ATAG Executive Director Michael Gill remarked at the gathering, “[Operators] included in CORSIA will need to offset their emissions from January 1, 2021, but the scheme comes into effect before then, with compliance needing to begin as early as one year from now.”

“Not enough airlines and governments are aware that there are two parts of CORSIA: the monitoring of emissions, and the offsetting. All [operators] that fly international routes will need to start monitoring and reporting their fuel use to governments from 2019, with very few exceptions. This applies whether their government has signed up to volunteer for the CORSIA or not,” he added.

ATAG is collaborating with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and other regional associations to raise awareness about CORSIA. The “Countdown to CORSIA” movement will stage workshops and prepare training toolkits for aircraft operators that need to conform. ATAG is arranging regional workshops in January and February 2018 backed by IBAC in Shanghai, Amman, Johannesburg, Miami, Singapore, Accra, Buenos Aires and Geneva.

“We are very pleased to see 72 states now volunteering to join CORSIA from the beginning. This means over 80 percent of the growth in aviation CO2 after 2020 will be offset. We repeat our call to all other governments to volunteer,” concluded Gill. “Let’s try to get as many of the 191 ICAO member states on board as possible,” noted Gill.

The European Commission recently said it would prolong the “stop the clock” provisions for international flights until 2020, so that EU-ETS continues to apply only to current EU flights and operators and not to international operators for their flights in and out of the EU.

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