The European Commission has approved the use of Eurocontrol's small emitters' tool, which makes it easier for business aviation operators to calculate their fuel consumption ahead of aviation's inclusion in the European Union's emissions trading system.
While this is seen as a step in the right direction by smaller operators, the European Business Aviation Association is calling on Eurocontrol to finalise the ETS support facility that will eventually replace the tool, and is urging the EC to simplify the independent verification process by waiving the requirement for an onsite visit.
The small emitters' tool enables operators with fewer than 243 flights in three consecutive four-month periods, or annual carbon dioxide emissions of less than 10,000t, to enter data into a spreadsheet that uses modelling to estimate fuel consumption. The EC says this tool "will reduce the administrative requirements related to compliance" with the emissions trading system.
But EBAA chief operating officer Pedro Vicente Azua is keen for Eurocontrol to finalise the software on its ETS support facility, which he says will be even more user-friendly. Azua is hopeful the new system will be ready "in the coming weeks so operators can use it before the end of the year".
However, he adds that unless the emissions verification process is also simplified by removing the need for an auditor to make an onsite visit, the tool will "lose its commercial interest" for small operators.
There were fears earlier this year over a potential lack of funding for the ETS support facility, but it is understood that the majority of EU member states have now declared their willingness to continue to provide funds.