Europe Plans To Introduce Aircraft Emissions Fees
Within a decade, operators of aircraft with an mtow of 19,000 pounds or more and flying in the airspace of the 25-state European Union (EU) will likely have to start paying for carbon dioxide emissions from their engines. A final report from consultants was published on Friday and advises the European Commission that it would be both feasible and legal to implement emissions trading for operators, regardless of their aircraft’s country of registration or type of operation. If the EC accepts emissions trading–and it is expected to do so by the end of this year–the system could apply to aviation by 2010. The EC’s expected acceptance of emissions trading as a means of reducing aviation’s output of greenhouse gases appears to confirm that it will not impose taxes on aircraft fuel. Instead, the EU governments have proposed to levy a new airline passenger tax. The consultant’s report proposes a system whereby aircraft operators would bid in an auction for the emissions permits that they require. Under an alternative program, operators would be allocated emissions permits and would then buy or sell these depending on their needs.