Germany has become the second European Union member to postpone airlines' first emissions trading deadline following the UK.
Airlines flying into EU airports are required to submit their emissions monitoring, reporting and verification plans to their assigned administering country by 31 August as the EU plans to fold aviation into its emissions trading scheme (ETS) from 2012.
The delay comes as the European Commission has yet to issue finalised administering assignments. The final list had been expected in June or July.
Germany now presumes that the commission will publish a finalised list this month, so it intends to publish its list in the German Federal Bulletin in August, Hans-Jürgen Nantke, head of the German Emissions Trading Authority at the Federal Environment Agency, says in a statement.
Carriers assigned to Germany will now have six weeks after the administering list is published to provide their monitoring plans to Germany's Federal Environment Agency.
US Airways, Delta Air Lines and cargo operators Atlas Air and UPS will likely report to Germany based on a tentative list published in February.
Last month the UK announced it would give airlines three additional months to register and submit their plans from the time the commission finalises administering assignments due to delays in the commission's validation of the Eurocontrol ETS Support Facility to track fuel burn.
The majority of airlines-some 750 operators-will likely be subject to the UK's jurisdiction, including American Airlines, Continental Airlines, United Airlines and Air Canada.
However, the United Kingdom says it remains "committed to including aviation in the EU ETS from 2012" despite the lag.
While the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) contends postponements by the UK and Germany were warranted, ATA vice-president of environmental affairs Nancy Young still would like more detail as to how the delays will impact other ETS deadlines. Young contends that all deadlines should be extended in proportion to the first delays.
Airlines are currently required to begin tracking their emissions from January 2010 in accordance with the monitoring plans they submit this year.
ATI has been told by a senior source at the European Commission that regulators will likely maintain the January 2010 deadline.
It also remains unclear if other EU nations plan to offer similar extensions as Germany and the United Kingdom.
Young says French officials told an ATA member airline last week that the French government will maintain the 31 August deadline.
She also remains concerned that Italy has not identified which of its agencies will administer the ETS in that country.
FedEx has been tentatively delegated to France and the preliminary list also shows that Delta subsidiary Northwest Airlines would file to the Netherlands but it remains unclear how last year's merger of Delta and Northwest will affect submission requirements by those carriers.