European business aviation chiefs are continuing to push hard for an acceptable approach for small carbon emitters within the European Union emissions trading scheme.

Scheme architects at the European Commission want emissions to be calculated according to fuel burned, but the monitoring and audit trail for this is expensive, complex and an unacceptable administrative burden for small operators, says the European Business Aviation Association.

Under the rules established by Brussels, small operators will, however, be able to use a simplified methodology developed by European air navigation agency Eurocontrol when aviation starts to trade carbon from 2012.

Eurocontrol's Pagoda tool for quantifying emitted carbon dioxide according to precise traffic movement data is the principal instrument, although it needs to be adapted to meet the specific requirements of the new rules.

The EBAA says Pagoda is sufficiently accurate to satisfy those requirements and highly efficient at minimal cost. But environment chiefs at the EC have commissioned an assessment of its accuracy, an action supported by a number of EBAA member operators by submitting fuel burn data.

The EBAA is keen to know the results of the validation trials because it cannot lobby to raise the threshold for small emitters until accuracy levels are known, giving it no option but to advise emitters above 10,000t to assume the worst and conform with the full monitoring and reporting procedures.

"The great majority of our members will need to rely on the simplified monitoring, reporting and verification procedure and are therefore pressing us to tell them the results of the Pagoda assessment to see if it complies with or betters the accuracy levels established in the Commission decision on MRV [monitoring, reporting and verification]," says EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries.

"Even our larger operators are awaiting the results with great interest to see whether the simplified threshold could be lifted to at least 25,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and perhaps higher if model accuracy allows, since this would permit them to minimise the negative bureaucratic impact of the complex MRV process."

The Eurocontrol Pagoda model accuracy assessment is known to EC environment chiefs, although the EBAA wants it released publicly now so operators can submit a plan of action on how they will monitor, report and validate carbon emissions by the 31 August deadline.

Source: Flight International