UK Hits Aircraft Operators with Extra ETS Admin Fees

 - April 19, 2011, 10:45 AM

Aircraft operators assigned to the UK for compliance with the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) are already facing additional “subsistence” (read administrative) costs, even before the requirement to pay for carbon emissions begins in January. Unlike most EU states, the UK government is requiring its Environment Agency to recover these administrative costs in full and directly from operators. U.S.-based corporate flight department Zimmer made just one flight to Europe last year in its Bombardier Challenger 604, emitting 87 metric tons of carbon and resulting in a subsistence charge of £2,130.58 ($3,409) for the whole year. According to ETS consultant Shockwave Aviation, the equivalent cost to buy the carbon permits to cover this single flight, at average current market rates of €16.59 per metric ton, would have come to approximately $2,020. When ETS goes into full force next year, Zimmer and other operators assigned to the UK are going to be paying subsistence charges calculated according to their total carbon emissions in addition to bearing the actual cost of purchasing any needed emissions permits. These are additional costs not carried by operators assigned to other EU states. The UK also charged operators fees to register their ETS monitoring, reporting and verification plans.