Euro Aviation Emissions Plan Registration Beginning
Many U.S. business aircraft operators have been reacting with dismay to the news that they need to start registering now for the new European emissions trading scheme (ETS), which comes into force in 2012. In fact, some have already received letters from UK officials asking them to provide a point of contact by tomorrow. The European Commission has tried to assign all non-European operators to one of the 27 European Union member states for the purposes of meeting their ETS obligations. For many U.S. commercial operators, this will be the UK. Privately, UK officials acknowledged that they lack sufficient resources to deal with large numbers of operators, meaning registration deadlines could slip. Confusion has arisen about whether an exemption for commercial operators who fly fewer than 243 flights in a four-month period over three consecutive four-month periods applies only to flights into or within Europe. This is the interpretation of the European Business Aviation Association and, if correct, could exempt many U.S. operators who make relatively few flights in Europe. However, AIN is still trying to get definitive confirmation from the European Commission on this point. Meanwhile, NBAA is asking its members to respond to an online survey on the ETS issue.