European airline and aerospace bodies have published a joint position on the issue of an emissions-trading scheme for aviation, in a bid to present a common stance from the sector ahead of forthcoming European Commission (EC) proposals.

Before the year end the EC is due to put forward proposals covering the widening of the European Union scheme to include aviation.

Now the seven European airline and aerospace bodies have drawn up a joint position in a bid to highlight their respective areas of common ground on the subject. “The position…will be used as the basis for common lobbying by industry key decision makers,” the associations say.

In their common position they stress they will not back any such scheme without comprehensive business impact assessments. “The scheme must be designed to be introduced without distorting international competition or imposing unreasonable cost burdens on air operators,” they say.

While considering an emissions-trading system as more cost-efficient and environmentally effective than taxes and charges, the bodies reiterate their call for a global solution through the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“If the EU were to take unilateral action, the application of emissions trading to civil aviation would have to be at an EU-wide, and not member-state, level,” it says.

It also says emissions trading applied to aviation should be ‘open’, allowing trading between civil aviation and other sectors. This counters a call from Green party member Caroline Lucas, in a report backed by the European Parliament, for the creation of a dedicated scheme for aviation.

The joint position has been drawn up and adopted by the European Regions Airlines Association (ERA), the Association of European Airlines (AEA), the European Low Fare Airlines Association (ELFAA), the International Air Carrier Association (IACA), the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), the European Cargo Alliance and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA)