The European Business Aviation Association has endorsed Eurocontrol's Pagoda model as the "best tool" for business aviation operators to meet the emissions trading scheme's monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements.

Pagoda is a Eurocontrol-developed tool that estimates fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions directly from traffic data recorded within the Eurocontrol area. "It should be used to the maximum extent possible within the accuracy requirements of the EU's emissions trading scheme directive," says the EBAA.

The association cites the accuracy levels pertaining to ground-based emitters: plus or minus 5% up to 50,000t and plus or minus 2% up to 500,000t. Under the draft guidelines issued by the European Commission,operators emitting more than 10,000t of carbon a year have to subscribe to what the EBAA terms"the full panoply" of MRV administration, which the association claims was "originally designed for installations emitting millions of tonnes ofcarbon a year".

The EC has told the EBAA that the only acceptable higher threshold would be 25,000tof CO2 ayear.

Under the current guidelines resultant administrative costs could reach €40,000 ($54,500) a management company ayear, says the association.

EBAA president and chief executive Brian Humphries considers this "a cost most operators would be unable to bear in the current depressed and highly competitive market".

Humphries claims that Pagoda meets Tier 1 accuracy requirements (up to 50k tonnes) and "subject to the on-going validation is most likely sufficiently accurate even up to Tier 2" (500k tonnes)."If the Commission fails to adopt a simple yet accurate method such as Pagoda in favour of a system that seems to have been designed to fill the pockets of consultants offering MRV services, it is hard to see how ETS will ever be extended to other transport modes," he argues.

The EBAA claims that the business aviation sector generates 8% of European traffic but less than 1% of emissions. "We're nice guys to have around," says Humphries.

Business aviation traffic declined 20% in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the first quarter of 2008, according to Eurocontrol statistics, while total traffic declined by a comparatively restrained 8%. Humphries noted ruefully that while two years ago EBACE heard predictions that "the skies would be black with VLJs", today they were "not even grey".

Alex Hendriks, Eurocontrol's deputy director co-operative network design, says that traffic in April averaged 25,500 movements aday, compared with 27,750 in April 2008 and 22,250 in April 2000.

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Source: Flight Daily News