The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has rebutted a Greenpeace-commissioned report that claims private flights in the European Union (EU) increased by 64 percent in 2022 and specifically, the number of flights originating from Dutch airports were up by 87 percent. The report further asserts that carbon emissions from all 2022 general aviation flights from the Netherlands “amounted to nearly 53,000 [metric] 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 calls the data “distorted” and “incorrect.” The business aviation advocacy group wrote, “By not taking into account data from before the Covid-19 pandemic, the report provides a distorted picture of the developments in our sector …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.” EBAA added, “It is regrettable that the dataset used is not based on data from the European [aviation] authority Eurocontrol, namely: European business aviation has grown by 7 percent instead of 64 percent.”
EBAA further asserted, “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. 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.”
EBAA accuses Greenpeace of ignoring the “context” of business aviation in its assertions of excess carbon emission. “Compared to regular aviation, business aviation is an extremely small sector that contributes only to a very limited extent to global CO2 emissions … Worldwide, business aviation represents 0.04 percent of global CO2 emissions.”