Helping To Heal the ETS Headaches

 - July 28, 2009, 11:55 AM

Former NetJets Europe and Tag Aviation executive David Carlisle has set up his own company, ETS Aviation, to help aircraft operators comply with Europe’s new emissions trading scheme (ETS). Working with partners to develop a two-pronged solution, he is offering specialist software to allow operators to calculate their emissions tally and an online process for getting their emissions reports verified independently as required under the ETS.

Operators can use the Aviation Footprinter software to record, monitor and report their carbon emissions and so calculate how many credits they need to buy to cover these under ETS requirements. It has been developed from the existing Footprinter software developed by Oxford-based Best Foot Forward for other industries that are already subject to ETS. According to ETS Aviation, the Web-based system can help operators to almost completely automate the monitoring, reporting and verification tasks.

Carlisle’s partner, Denis Quinn, has set up a separate company, Veri-Fly Online. The firm intends to retrain aviation professionals as qualified verifiers to help aircraft operators comply with the verification process entirely online and without the need for time-consuming site visits, which are commonplace for other industries already subject to ETS.

In Quinn’s view it is important that aircraft operators can deal directly with people with a sound understanding of how aviation works so that they don’t have to waste time explaining aspects of their business to verifiers. ETS agencies could require site visits if operators inadvertently misreport data or leave gaps in the information they provide.

Carlisle told AIN that both Aviation Footprinter and Veri-Fly Online are especially well suited to the needs of small- and medium-sized aircraft operators who do not have the resources to develop their own internal ETS processes. He added that while the EU’s ETS bureaucracy could prove burdensome for operators, using the right software tools to assist with emissions reporting could have spin-off benefits in terms of helping them to audit their operations more efficiently. For example, Aviation Footprinter will generate data to help operators make decisions about fleet utilization that will reduce carbon emissions and so reduce both their carbon footprint and their operating costs. It will also look for errors in recorded data and automate much of the data-aggregation task.

ETS Aviation expects to have a demonstrator version of Aviation Footprinter up and running this month. The final system will be ready to enter service by January. 1. The next stage of software development will see the UK-based company add more data-gathering features such as analysis of fuel usage.

Meanwhile, Veri-Fly Online is about to submit its application to the UK Accreditation Service to become an authorized verification agency. It believes that it will be the first aviation-specific, independent ETS-verification provider in the world. The company is now starting to train its ETS verifiers through audit specialist Shape Aero and Future Perfect, a specialist provider of training on verification and sustainability.