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Improving the environmental performance of aviation is a challenge ICAO takes very seriously. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Organization developed a range of standards, policies and guidance material for the application of integrated measures to address aircraft noise and engine emissions embracing technological improvements, operating procedures, proper organization of air traffic, appropriate airport and land-use planning, and the use of market-based options.

All of this has contributed to aircraft operations that today can be 70% more efficient than in the 1970s.

In 2004, ICAO adopted three major environmental goals, to:

  1. limit or reduce the number of people affected by significant aircraft noise;
  2. limit or reduce the impact of aviation emissions on local air quality; and
  3. limit or reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.

The ICAO Council also adopted Strategic Objectives, with high priority given to environmental protection, while the new Business Plan asserts the Organization's status as the leading international organization pursuing unified and coordinated measures to reduce civil aviation's impact on the environment.

ICAO's activities in the environment field are primarily focused on those problems that benefit most from a common co-ordinated approach, on a worldwide basis, namely aircraft noise and the impact of aircraft engine emissions.

Most of this work is undertaken through the ICAO Council's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which consists of Members and Observers from States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations representing aviation industry and environmental interests.

A Consolidated Statement of continuing policies and practices related to environmental protection is revised and updated by the Council every three years for adoption by the ICAO Assembly. The present version, Assembly Resolution A36-22, was adopted in September 2007.

ICAO maintains close relations with other UN policy-making bodies that have expressed an interest in civil aviation, notably with the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which it provides regular statements on ICAO's emission-related activities.


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Jane Hupe
Chief, Environment Branch
Secretary of CAEP
Air Transport Bureau
Phone: +1 1 514-954-8219, ext 6236
Fax: +1 514-954-6744

Environment Report, 2010, Pre-Assembly