Letter to EU Commissioners on supersonic aircraft

Dear Commissioners Bulc and Arias Cañete,

Aviation entrepreneurs, assisted by NASA, are in the process of developing a new generation of supersonic business jets for launch early in the next decade. This will require the establishment of new environmental certification requirements, including those covering noise and CO2 emissions, as past regulations have lapsed and the subsonic CO2 standard is not applicable. The exact noise impacts of such aircraft remain unclear but close attention will be needed by European regulators to ensure that the trend to reduce aircraft noise is maintained especially as a few daily movements of Concorde, the last supersonic aircraft in commercial operation, had a large and disproportionate impact on airport noise.

The excessive environmental and climate implications of supersonic flight are beyond doubt. For this reason we call on you to make clear that Europe’s commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will require the environmental performance of all new supersonic aircraft to at least meet existing and future environmental standards applicable to subsonic aircraft and so avoid any deterioration in aircraft environmental impacts.

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Letter