ATAG 2016 Speech: David Melcher, ICCAIA


This is a speech given by David Melcher, Chair of the International Coordinating Council for Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), at the ATAG 2016 Forum

Good afternoon.  On behalf of the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, or ICCAIA, and my parent organization, the Aerospace Industries Association of America, I appreciate this opportunity to address this distinguished forum.

Last September while addressing the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, I expressed industry’s confidence that ICAO member states would agree this year on two important objectives. First, global standards for CO2 and nvPM for civil aviation aircraft.  And second, a global Market Based Measure framework to effectively and safely reduce aviation CO2 emissions.

ICAO has already agreed to a standard for civil aircraft.  I remain optimistic this fall the ICAO Council and Assembly will fully endorse this unprecedented CO2 standard and will also agree to a global Market Based Measure.  This is the right thing to do and it must be done at a global level.  I think we all agree this is a big deal!

A final agreement will set our aspirations in place before a global public that expects this cutting-edge industry to be at the forefront of environmental and technological progress.

The adoption of policy instruments using markets, price, and other economic variables to provide airlines and other aircraft operators incentives to reduce pollution will send the right signal to our industry.

I can assure you this: Armed with these incentives, aircraft manufacturers’ continued investment in composite structures, improved aerodynamics, alternative jet fuels, new propulsion concepts and more efficient operations will turn ICAO’s aspirations into reality.

Indeed, our manufacturers have worked very hard to achieve carbon neutral growth. It bears repeating that each generation of aircraft is about 15 to 20 percent more efficient than the model it replaces.

Aircraft manufacturers’ annual investment of $15 billion on research to produce more efficient aircraft will enable our industry to maintain this enviable record.  The new CO2 standard will solidify this progress.

It’s also important to note that manufacturers embrace ATAG’s four pillar strategy.  The approval by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection of the standard is significant as it affirms our commitment to the technology pillar.  It also demonstrates ICAO’s value in working productively with many disparate nations and interests on issues of common concern.

I’m further confident that a global Market Based Measure will accelerate aviation’s environmental performance. But as this audience knows well, in order to be effective, the approved global Market Based Measure must be internationally sanctioned and sufficiently impactful. And it can’t be too complex or difficult to implement.

Let me sum up by noting that 50 years ago the good people of Montreal were putting the final touches on one of the 20th centuries’ greatest world’s fairs: Expo 67. The theme of Expo 67, “Man and His World,” fit the time’s growing concern about humankind’s environmental impact. 

In the next few days, ICAO will hopefully make significant progress on a Market Based Measure, gaining real traction and clarification toward a final agreement this fall.  This will help make humankind’s 21st century environment much cleaner and will be no small accomplishment.

Thank you once more for the opportunity to represent the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers at this important forum.