programs / Aviation


Aircraft play a vital role in our modern economy by quickly and conveniently transporting goods and people. But they also exact environmental costs. If counted as a country, globally the aviation sector would rank 7th in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, just after Germany and well above Korea in 2011. Projections are that CO2 emissions from aviation will triple by 2050 under business-as-usual scenarios, as more people and goods move by air, unless effective policies are developed to constrain emissions growth. Nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), noise, and lead pollution also impact often disadvantaged communities living near airports.

A number of governments and international organizations are working to manage the environmental impact of the aviation industry. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized UN agency, oversees and acts as the de facto regulator of airlines and aerospace manufacturers worldwide. ICAO adopted its first aircraft noise standard in 1972 and its first engine certification standards for air pollutants in 1981. Since then, ICAO has periodically tightened both policies, and is currently developing the world’s first CO2 and PM emission standards for new aircraft and engines, respectively.

Featured Work



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International Civil Aviation Organization CO2 standard for new aircraft
A concise overview of ICAO's proposed aircraft efficiency standard, covering the policy background and standard requirements, and preliminary analysis of expected effects on CO2 emissions.
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Transatlantic airline fuel efficiency ranking, 2014
This study is an extension of ICCT’s work benchmarking U.S. airline fuel efficiency on domestic operations since 2010.



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The Staff

Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Daniel Rutherford
Daniel Rutherford
Program Director / Japan Lead