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Options for Assessing the CO2 Intensity of Commercial Aircraft under an Airframe Standard

There is considerable interest within ICAO and member states regarding options to set CO2 or GHG emission standards for commercial aviation.This paper identifies several possible carbon intensity metrics suitable for use in a CO2 standard for new commercial airframes, and evaluates those metrics relative to simple design criteria. It demonstrates that previous inconclusive ICAO work on efficiency metrics, which was specific to in-operation aircraft, does not preclude the establishment of a CO2 standard for new aircraft. Setting an airframe CO2 standard should be less technically challenging than ongoing efforts to set equivalent standards for other transport modes, notably heavy-duty vehicles and oceangoing vessels, that have greater diversity of duty cycle and vocation.

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