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Aircraft Piston Engine Emissions (2002-2)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

There is currently no ICAO certification scheme on emission for piston and turboprop engines and jet engines with less than 26.7kN thrust. Therefore they are the so called "unregulated engines".
Today, there is little data available for piston engine and small jet engines. There is a need to "fill these black holes", particularly for the issue of the protection of the environment. In autumn 2002 Swiss FOCA (Federal Office for Civil Aviation) initiated a project called ECERT (Emission Certification).


  • Development of a measurement technique for piston engine emission, considering the fact that exhaust gas measurement technology has had a strong development in the last couple of years. Compact equipment designed for automotive engine emission measurement at relatively high accuracy has now become available and affordable. 
  • Getting absolute emission data of a variety of piston engines (and small (helicopter) jet engines at a later step).
  • Comparison of ground and in flight measurements.
  • Development of a methodology for emission certification of piston engines (and small (helicopter) jet engines at a later step) at reasonable expense.

At first stage a measurement tool for piston engine emission will be developed. Then a collection and comparison of absolute emission data from a large amount of piston engines will be provided. This will then be developed in to a methodology for emission certification of piston engines.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


As a result of successful in-flight emission tests a standardised ground measurement methodology has been developed. Emissions data for a variety of aircraft piston engines are now openly available.

Policy implications

Supporting tools for lowering of piston engine emissions.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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