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Commission proposes new NOx emission standards for aircraft

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive to tighten standards for the emission of nitrogen oxides by civilian jet aircraft. The new standards would be around 16% tighter than existing standards in Europe, and would apply from 2000 to new engines, and from...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive to tighten standards for the emission of nitrogen oxides by civilian jet aircraft. The new standards would be around 16% tighter than existing standards in Europe, and would apply from 2000 to new engines, and from 2008 to existing ones.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from aircraft in the upper troposphere contribute to ozone formation and therefore to climate change. Around airports, emissions also contribute to local air pollution problems. Emissions of NOx from aircraft are projected to increase significantly in the next 15 years with air transport activity forecast to double in that period.

The Commission's proposal should be regarded as a precautionary measure, which will reduce emissions without significant costs being incurred by manufacturers. The proposal, once approved, would not apply to aircraft registered in the EU before the deadlines. Such aircraft could still be transferred between national registers, or outside the EU. The proposal would not apply to aircraft registered outside the EU either.

In the absence of agreed standards at international level, the Commission has decided to take action in Europe. Whilst these measures will have minimal impact on third countries, the Commission will continue to press for limit standards to be agreed at international level.
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