CO2 emissions of private aviation in Europe

Privévluchten hebben een veel hogere CO2-uitstoot per passagierskilometer dan commerciële vluchten. Zo zijn ze volgens de actiegroep Transport & Environment vijf tot veertien keer zo vervuilend. Echter wordt er bij beleid ter verlaging van de luchtvaartuitstoot vaak geen rekening gehouden met deze emissies. Daarom is het belangrijk om transparantie te creëren rondom de emissies die privévluchten met zich meebrengen. Dit rapport schetst een gedetailleerd beeld van privévluchten en de bijbehorende CO2-uitstoot in de EU27 en in Noorwegen, Zwitserland en het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Het verslag bevat een lijst met privévluchten voor 2020, 2021 en 2022, gerangschikt op afstand. Hieruit blijkt dat het bij de meeste privévluchten gaat om een afstand van 251 à 500 kilometer. Hierbij werden de tien drukste routes en de tien drukste routes korter dan vijfhonderd en honderd kilometer voor elk jaar in kaart gebracht, inclusief de bijbehorende CO2-uitstoot. Ook werden de drukste luchthavens voor elk jaar in kaart gebracht. Voor een aantal van de meest frequente korte routes is een goede treinverbinding aanwezig. In dit rapport wordt er gekeken naar de reistijd en de frequentie van treinen op deze routes. Ook is voor elk land het jaarlijkse aantal vertrekkende vluchten berekend, inclusief CO2-emissies. Tot slot geeft het rapport een overzicht van de tien Europese landen met de meeste vluchten en de hoogste CO2-uitstoot in 2022.

Corrigendum 1
After publication of the report, it was brought to our attention that one of the airports referenced in the report, Böblingen in Germany, is no longer operational. Some flights that departed from or arrived at Stuttgart were incorrectly assigned to Böblingen in our dataset. This means that the shortest route in Germany in 2022 was not 15 but 22 kilometers (Friedrichshafen-Altenrhein), and Stuttgart-Böblingen is not amongst the most CO2 intensive routes in Europe. Correcting for the fact that Böblingen is closed does not alter the number of flights in Germany or Europe, and the calculated CO2 emissions by private aviation has not changed either. The route between Stuttgart and Böblingen has been removed from the relevant tables in the report.

Flights to and from Böblingen are included in the dataset CE Delft has obtained from Cirium, a leading aviation data and analytics provider, which served as a basis for the calculations. The dataset included all non-commercial flights executed with fixed-wing aircraft and arriving at or departing from European airports. The source of the dataset is publicly available flight-tracking data, for example from ADS-B or MLAT, which contains, amongst others, information on airport of departure, airport of destination and aircraft type. In a few cases, flight tracking data does not report all the information and some data fields are manually entered in the database. This mainly occurs for flights that are not required to file a flight plan with an ANSP. In most cases, these are small turboprops flying short distances. This publicly available data is collected, analysed and categorised by our data expert Cirium, who specialises in extracting business and leisure flights from the available dataset. Cirium has informed us that, because Böblingen airport had not been marked as ‘inactive’ in their reference data, the received positional information of certain flights led to a linear projection to the ground in the close vicinity of the inactive Böblingen airport, to which the flights were appointed. If Böblingen airport would have been marked inactive, these flights would have been assigned to Stuttgart airport (which would mean a round flight in the cases of Stuttgart – Böblingen). Round flights have not been taken into account in the dataset. Because the number of flights is low (18 flights on the Stuttgart-Böblingen route in 2022, out of 58,424 flights departing from German airports), and because they were executed using turboprop aircrafts, the influence on the overall number of flights and CO2 emissions is negligible. Most flights in our database are performed by jets and 95% of emissions are also from jet aircraft.

In Table 147 – Shortest private flight routes of Germany (with 10 or more flights) including the distance, number of flights and CO2 emissions in 2022, an error had been made in the CO2 emissions (tonnes). In a previous version of the report this was 21, but has been changed to 210.

Meer over