Aviation and Environment
Aviation is an important as well as an essential service sector around the world. Air transport is a formidable catalyst which propels the economic growth, social and cultural development of a country. Globally, air traffic is expected to increase at a growth rate of 4.5% whereas Sri Lanka has recorded a growth of Revenue Tonne Kilometres (RTKs) of 8% considering the last 10 years. Identifying the adverse effect that aviation emissions could impose on the environment, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has placed significant emphasis in drawing up various schemes to protect the environment with the active participation of its 191 Contracting States. As a result ICAO has prioritized ‘environmental protection’ as one of the key strategic objectives of the organisation in its current work plan.
Consequently identifying the States’ obligation as the national regulator, Sri Lanka has submitted the State Action Plan for Emission Reduction outlining the current emission level of Sri Lanka and the mitigation measures that Sri Lanka would implement to reduce the current emission level attributes from the Sri Lankan operators conducting international air transportation services.
In order to implement the measures proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of Sri Lanka, series of meetings were conducted with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the other key aviation and non-aviation stakeholders with the objective to the feasibility of the measures proposed and also to identify additional and more efficient measures such as technological and operational improvements towards aviation emissions reduction.
In this process it was decided to formulate two (02) working groups, one with the participation of key aviation industry stakeholders and the other, with the involvement of the energy sector. The aviation Core Working Group includes Ministry of Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Lanka, FITS Aviation, Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd and SriLankan Catering Ltd. The other working group, in addition to the above aviation sector stakeholders, includes key energy sector stakeholders, Ministry of Environment, Central Environmental Authority, Academics and Researchers who would evaluate the feasibility of production and/or use of bio fuel and implementation of emission offset schemes.
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