Summary: 2017 Annual Report—Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation

The 2017 Annual Report is the sixth report under Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation (“the Action Plan”). This report describes the progress made towards the Action Plan’s fuel efficiency target and highlights activities aimed to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both domestic and international aviation.

Read the Action Plan and previous reports

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Background: the Action Plan

On June 4, 2012, the Government of Canada and the Canadian aviation industry released the Action Plan. This plan:

  • promises to report annually on progress towards the fuel efficiency target
  • describes how we will address GHG emissions from Canadian aviation
  • builds on success of previous work between the Government of Canada and Canada’s aviation industry
    • This includes the world’s first voluntary agreement to reduce GHG emissions from aviation, signed in 2005

The Action Plan sets a target to improve fuel efficiency by a 1.5 percent annual average until 2020, from a 2008 baseline. The 2008 baseline is 39.47 litres of fuel per 100 Revenue Tonne-Kilometres (L/100 RTK). The baseline means that, in 2008, 39.47 litres of jet fuel were needed to transport 1 tonne (metric ton) a distance of 100 kilometres.

Results of the 2017 Annual Report

The fuel efficiency rate reported for 2017 was 33.31 L/100 RTK (combining both passenger and cargo traffic). This translates to:

  • an average fuel efficiency improvement of 1.87 percent per year between 2008 and 2017, and
  • a cumulative improvement of 15.6 percent

Compared to 2016, Canadian air carriers improved fuel efficiency in 2017 by 2.8 percent.

The Canadian aviation industry made good progress under the Action Plan. Many activities contributed to 2017’s fuel efficiency and will also help reduce GHG emissions in the long term.

Highlights from 2017 include:

  • addition of new efficient aircraft by Canadian air carriers
  • initiatives to reduce emissions at Canadian airports, including the use of more electric ground and luggage support equipment
  • research and development projects on biojet fuel and non-volatile particulate matter
  • Canada’s leadership in the negotiation and development of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
  • use of performance-based navigation at several Canadian airports
    • This makes it possible to design and use shorter flight paths and constant descent operations, which reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions

Infographic: Greening Aviation in Canada

Looking ahead to the 2018 Annual Report

The 2017 Annual Report previews important milestones achieved in 2018, including:

  • continued fleet renewal and upgrades of Canadian air carriers
  • accreditation of several Canadian airports under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, which helps airports manage, reduce and ultimately neutralise their carbon footprint
  • introduction of the Canadian Biojet Supply Chain Initiative, which is testing renewable fuel using existing fueling infrastructure
  • launch of the Government of Canada’s “Sky’s the Limit Challenge,” to develop new, sustainable aviation fuel solutions in Canada
  • Canada’s implementation of the Standards and Recommended Practices for CORSIA

Look for the release of the 2018 Annual Report in fall 2019.