The European Commission says it sees no reason to change the regulations setting out how business aviation operators will be required to calculate the emissions they create from next year.

The EC wants 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.

The EC's insistence on calculating emissions this way constitutes a dismissal of an EBAA proposal. The EBAA says Eurocontrol's Pagoda model for quantifying emitted carbon dioxide according to precisely monitored traffic movements is sufficiently accurate to satisfy European Union requirements, is highly efficient and costs very little.

But at EBACE yesterday, Hubert Fallmann of the EC's Directorate General of the Environment said the regulation has only just been ratified and there was no reason to change it. "The key issue for aviation is ensuring the completeness of data," Fallmann told the EBACE conference audience.

It seems the EC insists on quantifying every last litre of fuel used during ground operations like taxiing and running an auxiliary power unit, for which the Pagoda model does not account. But EBAA chairman and chief executive Brian Humphries says the EC is foisting on an industry sector that is a very small fuel consumer "a system that was originally designed to govern emissions trading by industrial installations emitting millions of tonnes of CO2 a year". A small business jet that flies 500h in a year would emit about 700t of CO2.

Fallmann says that is the responsibility of operators to calculate their estimated fuel use for the year ahead, report actual use by the year end, and pay for independent verification of their accounting methodology and compliance with regulations.

The EBAA is in the process of calculating the administrative cost of the entire administrative process for the average European business aircraft operator, which has a fleet of four aircraft or fewer, but UK consultancy Entec says the verification alone may cost an operator between €2,700 ($3,670) and €9,000.

Humphries says the existing emissions trading system for monitoring, reporting and verification is not acceptable given that there is a more efficient system available, and the EBAA is pledged to work with the EC to have it changed.

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Source: Flight Daily News