As reported in the July 30, 2020 NAAA eNewsletter, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adopting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards applicable to certain classes of engines used by certain civil subsonic jet airplanes. In 2016 the Obama administration signed on to the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) plan to reduce GHG emissions from jet and turboprop aircraft. The final rule, now in effect, regulates (among other types) turboprop aircraft with a takeoff mass greater than 8,618 kilograms (18,959 pounds). This weight puts all the current agricultural aircraft outside of the rule. The rule requires carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to be mitigated by increased efficiency and carbon offsets.
The GHG standards that apply to new type design airplanes are expected to go into effect in January and will go into effect on or after Jan. 1, 2028, for in-production airplanes. They do not apply to already manufactured airplanes currently in use. New type design airplanes are newly developed airplane designs that have not previously been type certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and have not been built or flown yet. In-production airplanes are new airplanes with designs that have already been type certificated by the FAA and are already in production and will continue to be produced and sold after the standards’ effective date.
While some are touting this move as a way to ensure that U.S. built aircraft are competitive globally, NAAA is watching this development closely. These rules have a way of expanding, as many environmentalists feel the ICAO aircraft standards are not rigorous enough. NAAA has the data that shows modern agriculture, of which ag aviation is a critical component, plays an important role in reducing GHG emissions.