Press Releases

ACI calls for appropriate ICAO standards and practices for supersonic aircraft

Standards must address impact on the environment, airport operations, and the public

Montreal, 29 September 2019 – At the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly today, Airports Council International (ACI) World called for appropriate standards and practices for supersonic aircraft to properly address their potential impact on the environment, airport operations, and the public.

The reintroduction of supersonic aircraft may occur as early as 2023 and ACI is concerned that manufacturers have not been able to yet present evidence that new supersonic aircraft will be able to meet the latest ICAO standards for their subsonic counterparts.

Considering that there is strong pressure on airports to reduce their noise and emissions footprints, and generally reduce the impact of aviation on their communities, ACI insists that the re-introduction of supersonic aircraft not undermine the efforts and achievements of the industry over the past decades.

In its Reintroduction of Supersonics paper, ACI invites the Assembly to develop noise and emissions Standards and Recommended Practices for supersonic aircraft which promote the sustainable development of international aviation and recognize that the introduction of supersonic aircraft should not disrupt traffic flow of other aircraft, lead to loss of capacity, or reduce efficiency or environmental impact elsewhere in the system.

“Public acceptance of aviation rests on our ability to face the operational and environmental challenges currently posed by noise and emissions from subsonic aircraft. The introduction of supersonic aircraft must not destroy that acceptance,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

“In order to be integrated into the commercial aviation ecosystem, supersonic aircraft must not be noisier than comparable subsonic aircraft of the same Maximum Take Off Mass (MTOM) during their subsonic operations.

“This is a matter which affects the entire aviation industry and it is essential for the development of Standards and Recommended Practices for supersonic aircraft to respond to the industry requirements while also addressing the potential impact on the community, the environment and airport operations.

Notes for editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200