Sweden plans increase in landing fee charges for polluting aircraft

25 Mar 2021 by Tom Otley

Sweden is reportedly planning to vary landing charges at its airports depending on the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.

In an interview in Dagens Nyheter, the Minister of the Environment and Climate, Per Bolund, said that the plan was to adjust the landing fees for aircraft depending in the types of aircraft and the fuel used for the flight.

The plan is still under consideration by the Swedish parliament, but if approved would affect flights to and from Stockholm Arlanda Airport, and Landvetter in Gothenburg, according to the Guardian.

“The airline industry has to show that it is taking the climate issue seriously and this is a way for politicians to push them and say that it is time they do their bit,” Bolund said.

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Some airports already levy environmental charges, although normally these are “in order to incentivise the use of quieter or lower-emission aircraft by airlines or fund local mitigation measures” according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommends that “any environmental levies on air transport, which States may want to introduce, should be in the form of charges rather than taxes and that the funds collected should be applied in the first instance to mitigating the environmental impact of aircraft engine emissions (i.e. by repairing specific damages, and by funding research on development of technology).”

Sweden was where the ‘flight shame (flygskam) movement began, along with related concepts such as ‘train brag’ (Tågskryt).

Flight shame has morphed in some quarters to flight shaming, and a recent academic article in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism explored the concepts of ‘scapegoat ecology’ and ‘heroisation’ in social media responses to Greta Thunberg’s activism. It revealed a deeply divisive response to the anti-flying, environmental message. Nevertheless, the airline industry, collectively through measures such as CORSIA, and individually with airlines own commitments, is attempting to move towards net zero by 2050.

Airports are also innovating. Stockholm Arlanda Airport has, since 2005, used only green electricity, and now heats and cools its buildings using a nearby aquifer. For more details, see The world’s largest aquifer storage unit supplies energy to the airport

CORSIA offsets – how do they work?

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