Reports appeared in the media about a report commissioned by Greenpeace from CE Delft. The report claims that the number of private flights in the EU increased by 64 percent in 2022 and that the number of private flights from Dutch airports increased by 87 percent compared to the previous year.
The report also states that the CO2 emissions from all private flights from the Netherlands in 2022 amounted to nearly 53,000 tons, more than twice as much as the previous year and almost eight times as much as in the COVID-19 year of 2020.
EBAA emphasies that the quoted data is incorrect. By not taking into account data from before the COVID-19 pandemic, the report provides a distorted picture of the developments in our sector. It is regrettable that the dataset used is not based on data from the European authority Eurocontrol, namely:
European business aviation has grown by 7 percent instead of 64 percent.
The number of European business flights is compared by Greenpeace to a historically low point during the COVID-19 crisis, instead of a regular year without travel restrictions. This creates an image of explosive growth even if that did not actually take place.
The latest report “Comprehensive Assessment European Aviation” from Eurocontrol, dated January 12, 2023, shows that compared to the regular aviation year 2019, the business aviation sector has only grown by 7 percent.
Despite a temporary peak in the number of business flights after the reopening of international borders, EBAA reports a stagnation in that growth in the first months of this year, which could potentially turn into a slight decline.
Greenpeace ignores context
Greenpeace systematically ignores the context of business aviation. Compared to regular aviation, business aviation is an extremely small sector that contributes only to a very limited extent to global CO2 emissions. In 2022, there were 14.4 million movements in regular aviation in Europe. In business aviation, there were only 1.5 million movements. Worldwide, business aviation represents 0.04 percent of global CO2 emissions.
Business aviation sector is a breeding ground for aviation sustainability
Contrary to what Greenpeace wants to believe, business aviation is actually driving aviation sustainability. In 2009, the sector signed the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change (BACCC). These goals were further tightened in 2021. For example, the business aviation sector aims to be net-zero by 2050, meaning it will limit emissions to net zero.
To achieve this, companies are investing in new technologies, such as hybrid and electric planes. Earlier sustainable investments by our sector in fuel-saving winglets, lighter aircraft components, and more efficient engines have already been adopted by regular aviation. Currently, business aviation is the biggest advocate for the use of sustainable aviation fuel and more efficient flight routes.
Business aviation recognizes the importance of sustainability and works closely with aviation authorities and other stakeholders to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment.