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Aviation Method

27 September 2016

Is the Aviation method suitable for your business?

  • Are you looking to undertake activities to reduce emissions from at least one of the aircraft in your fleet?

  • Is the fuel used in your aircraft ‘taxable fuel’ as per the meaning provided for by the Fuel Tax Act 2006?

If you have answered yes to both of these questions, the aviation method may be suitable for your business. Read on for eligibility and compliance details.

The aviation method sets out the rules for projects that reduce emissions by improving fuel efficiency and changing energy sources for aircraft used on domestic routes.

The method is activity neutral and provides flexibility for participants to determine what activities are most appropriate for their project. Activities that could be undertaken to reduce energy use by aircraft include:

  • modifying existing aircraft e.g. reduce weight or improve aerodynamics   
  • change energy sources (that is, fuel switching), or
  • changing operational practices of the aircraft.

Emissions intensity service units are used to calculate abatement with different service units used for the different phases of each aircraft's operation. These phases are cruise and descent, landing, taxi in, transit, taxi out and take off and climb. The use of service units allows the calculated abatement to account for increased or decreased aircraft usage.

Method variations

The Clean Energy Regulator develops variations to methods for a range of reasons including:

  • to implement an ERAC decision to extend the crediting period of a method
  • to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended
  • to account for technological advances that enable new measurement approaches.

Methods being varied or methods under review are published on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) website and our method consultation page.

The method variations page provides additional information about how a method variation might affect an existing project.

Legislative requirements

You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct an aviation project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). This includes:

Tools and Resources

Department of Environment information on the aviation method

A guide to the aviation method

Quick reference guide to the aviation method

The quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) from an aviation project. It includes specific links to the relevant legislation but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements. More detailed information can also be found in the full method guide linked above.

Quick reference guide contents:

Crediting period

Seven years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units.

Relevant section of the Act:


Eligibility requirements

There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:

Additionally Section 12 of the method also requires that you have energy and service data for the 12 months immediately before the start of the reporting period in which an aircraft is first included in the project.

Section 14 of the method also requires that specific information is included in a project application before the project can be considered eligible. You should ensure you refer to this section and provide all the required information in your application.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:


Project activities

A project involves implementing emissions reduction activities on at least one aircraft. The activities must fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • modifying existing aircraft
  • changing the energy source or the mix of energy sources used by aircraft, or
  • changing operational practices in relation to aircraft.

Examples of activities include:

  • replacing on-board components with lighter-weight alternatives
  • altering aircraft structure to improve aerodynamics
  • increasing the use of bio-derived jet fuel
  • installing ground power units or eligible renewable electricity generation equipment to power aircraft and its auxiliary equipment, and
  • changing terminal procedures to shorten taxi length or duration.

Relevant section of the Method:



A project only covers aircraft using 'taxable fuel'. This has the effect of excluding international flights and a number of domestic routes where they are an extension of international flights.

The method also excludes aircraft replacement or fleet renewal from being considered as a project in itself.

The project must use fuel which has emissions factors that can be calculated in accordance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008 (NGER Determination).

Relevant section of the Method:

Relevant section of the NGER Determination


How is abatement calculated

Abatement is calculated by comparing the total 'emissions intensity' of different phases of aircraft operation before and after the project activities take place. Using emissions intensity to calculate abatement allows emissions reductions to be credited when the level of service provided changes compared to previous periods.

Emissions intensity refers to the emissions that are produced per 'service unit'. Service units vary with each phase of operation and you need to choose one of service units set out in Schedule 1 of the method for each phase of operation. The relevant phases are:

  • transit
  • taxi out
  • take-off and climb
  • cruise
  • descent and landing, and
  • taxi in.

For each aircraft you wish to include, you will need to identify the phases of aircraft operation that will be affected by the intended activities. Further detail on how to calculate emissions, emissions intensity and abatement, can be found in the method and in the aviation method equation flow chart.

Relevant section of the Method:


Reporting requirements

In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, Section 21 in the method sets out additional method-specific requirements that may be required for offset reports.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:


Monitoring requirements

In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, projects must also meet specific monitoring requirements in Sections 25–27 of the method. This includes the service unit and energy consumption data that needs to be collected and monitored for each aircraft at the level of phase and route.

The method sets out several options for collecting this data, including approaches that are used in the aviation industry to collect data for other purposes. If you are unable to monitor any of the specified parameters during a reporting period, Section 27 explains how you must estimate their value.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:


Record-keeping requirements

In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, projects must also meet the specific record-keeping requirements in section 24 of the method, including:

  • descriptions of aircraft and any project activities performed on the aircraft
  • phases and routes involved
  • changes to operational practices, and
  • auxiliary equipment (i.e. mobile equipment used to help power or operate aircraft) installed as part of a project.


Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:



All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements, see the Act, the Rule and the audit information on our website.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:


Specialist skills

Specialist skills will be required to carry out the project with the method. Examples of specialist skills include:

  • registered professional engineer
  • certified energy manager, and
  • certified measurement and verification professional.


Relevant section of the Rule:


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