European Business Aviation Association
BAN's World GazetteerBelgium
Business aircraft operators may benefit if a new draft of the European Commission's ETS monitoring and reporting regulation, which raises the threshold for small emitters from 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year to 25,000 tonnes, is adopted as expected.
The change follows three years of extensive lobbying by the European Business Aviation Association and means that many more business aviation commercial and non-commercial operators will be able to report their emissions through the simplified procedure or use Eurocontrol's ETS support facility.
Currently operators with fewer than 243 flights in three consecutive four-month periods, or with annual carbon dioxide emissions of less than 10,000 tonnes, are allowed to use the ETS support facility, thereby making compliance with environmental legislation much simpler.
Now that limit looks set to be raised to 25,000 tonnes from 2013, although the flight number limits will remain the same. This should mean that many more business aircraft operators will be able to use the simplified rules to estimate their fuel consumption and so save on administrative costs.
However, the anticipated change does not raise the threshold at which operators have to comply with ETS, which remains at 10,000 tonnes for commercial operators and one tonne for non-commercial. "We shall continue to lobby for the non-commercial threshold to be brought in line with the commercial threshold," an EBAA spokesman says. "But because this will require a change in the underlying directive, such a change cannot practically be implemented before 2014 or even 2020.
"It is important to note that contrary to what has been reported, this regulation has not yet been adopted and the new threshold is not yet in application. The European Commission estimates that the new threshold should be adopted without problems at the next committee in late September or early October as most member states also support the change."
The EBAA had been pressing for a higher threshold still, but the Commission stopped short of this as there is already a 25,000 tonne figure for fixed installations and it wants to remain consistent across different industries.
From the start of 2012, emissions from all domestic and international flights that arrive at or depart from an EU airport will be covered by the Emissions Trading System. In addition to the 27 EU member states, it also covers three EEA-EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and will extend to Croatia by 2014 due to the country's planned accession to the EU on 1 July 2013. It will thus soon cover 31 countries. For an insight into the work of business aviation's lobbyists, see our special Perspectives report.