CAAT bids to lower carbon emissions

CAAT bids to lower carbon emissions

Local airlines required to report emissions and fuel consumption

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has joined hands with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as they strive for lower carbon emissions from air travel.

The aim is to reach net zero emissions by 2050, said Suthipong Kongpool, the CAAT director.

Speaking after the 2023 ICAO Environmental Regional Seminar for the Asia Pacific Region organised recently in Bangkok, Mr Suthipong said the CAAT aims to cooperate with ICAO’s member countries in the Asia Pacific region as they work towards the goal to lower CO² emissions as certified by the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly in October last year.

More than 200 staff from various agencies in each country in the Asia-Pacific region have taken part in the plan, Mr Suthipong said.

Since last year, the CAAT has carried out ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, a policy tool designed to achieve environmental goals at a lower cost and in a more flexible manner. New aircraft technologies like lighter airframes, higher engine performance and operational improvements can help achieve the goal.

Under the policy, CAAT requires Thai Airways, Thai Smile, NokAir, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai VietJet, Thai Lion Air and K-Mile Air to report their CO² emissions including amounts of fuel use, he said. 

ICAO will monitor these activities to control gas emissions in the airline industry, Mr Suthipong said. Airlines that can control gas emissions will gain a so-called “carbon credit” which is tradeable.

“One finding shows that an aircraft burns more fuel and emits more greenhouse gas while taking off and landing. So, during taxing from a gate to a runway, an aircraft should be on one engine instead of two, or full engines of four. The practice can reduce fuel use by 25-50%,” said Mr Suthipong.

“While landing, a captain will apply a technique of steadily descending instead of the old technique of levelling which burns lots of fuel,” he said, adding that the new method can reduce fuel use by 40%. The CAAT will work with Aeronautical Radio to arrange air traffic properly.

Mr Suthipong said carbon emission reductions in aviation may be expensive at first but it will be worth the investment and will not affect ticket fares. He urged airlines to be prepared for the change.

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