Operators still struggle with ETS

 - February 22, 2010, 7:19 AM

The European Commission’s latest list of operators subject to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) is still incomplete and inaccurate, according to companies that are trying to help operators comply with the new environmental requirement. The list was issued early last month but, according to Aaron Misko, president of Shockwave Aviation, there are still “hundreds” of aircraft that have been incorrectly assigned to the name of their flight-planning provider rather than to the actual operator.

While the new list appears not to include all operators who are subject to ETS because they fly into European airspace, Misko told AIN that some operators on the ETS list make no flights into Europe and have no plans to do so. Another frustrating anomaly of the ETS registration process is that some national authorities are charging fees to have compliance plans approved but most are providing this “service” for free. For example, the UK charges £750 ($1,170) to handle an ETS plan application and £800 ($1,248) to process the benchmark plan that is needed for operators to get their free allowance of carbon credits. Ireland is charging €200 ($272) for each of these processes, but many other countries make no charge at all.

Shockwave has also found great variations in the time it takes national authorities to process ETS applications. Spain and Italy, for example, are approving plans in as little as a day-and-a-half. But others, such as Germany, are taking as long as four months. International operators have also complained that official paperwork is sent only in the local language of the national authority.

Finally, there is still no progress on the approval of the so-called “Commission-approved tool” that is supposed to provide an easy way for small operators to calculate their emissions. Misko has heard reports that this might not be ready until the third quarter, which would create problems for operators who might not have been counting their emissions in the approved way.