Austria, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands have jointly urged the European Union (EU) to strengthen legislations to address the environmental impact of private jet travel, as reported by Reuters on May 26. The four countries, which have some of the busiest airports in Europe, have called for action to tackle the high per capital carbon footprint associated with private jets. They have proposed exploring the implementation of stronger regulatory measures on private jet travel to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share to the overall decarbonization effort. The document outlining their recommendations will be discussed by EU transport ministers on June 1.
Private jets are responsible for up to 14 times more pollution per passenger mile compared to commercial flights and 50 times more than trains, according to a report from the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E). As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of private jet flight in Europe reached a record high of 572,806 in March 2023, marking a 64% year-on-year increase. In response to controversies about fuel inequality and demands for fair climate solutions, France recently implemented a ban on certain short-haul commercial domestic flights where viable train alternatives exist. Last month, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport also proposed a ban on private jet from no later than 2025-26 to address noise pollution and disproportionate CO2 emissions per passenger. As part of broader efforts to reform the carbon-intensive aviation sector, the EU parliament reached an agreement in April to boost both the consumption and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).