The Chairman of Eastern Airways, which operates scheduled services throughout the UK and Norway, has urged the UK Government to review the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) reporting process and procedures.
“The Emissions Trading Scheme, implemented by Brussels earlier this year is good in theory but, for Europe’s smaller carriers, is a disaster in practice” says Eastern Airways Chairman, Bryan Huxford. “I find it unbelievable that the scheme results in the cost of administration equalling or exceeding the cost of compliance for smaller airlines,” he continued.
“Eastern Airways, together with every other European airline takes very seriously the need to minimise the impact of its flights on climate change, even though we already have an aircraft fleet that is extremely fuel efficient. However, the Emissions Trading Scheme for aviation, implemented by the European Community is far from being in the interests of Eastern Airways’ customers.” he added.
The UK regional airline believes that climate protection is a matter of concern for everyone but it is also very much in Eastern Airways’ business interests. Gaseous emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated from the kerosene that is used as the fuel for aircraft engines and today’s fuel price is a strong incentive to find all possible ways (always, of course, maintaining strict adherence to existing safety regulations) to minimise fuel consumption. Less fuel used, results in lower emissions. “The high price of fuel already gives us the strongest possible incentive to be as fuel efficient as possible without the imposition of ETS,” said Bryan.
However, the airline’s real concern is that the ETS legislation goes far beyond what is claimed to be solely an environmental measure. Even though the science of climate change is still inexact, the administration of the fuel usage reporting required by the Scheme is so complex that administrative costs exceed the price of the carbon allowances that Eastern Airways has to buy.
“We do not object to buying the carbon allowances but we see no sense whatsoever in obliging our passengers to pay, through their fares, for complex and precise reporting procedures that contribute nothing to environmental protection” Bryan added. Eastern Airways’ Chairman has written to the Government and Civil Aviation Authority calling for an immediate alleviation of the costs by using simpler and more rationale reporting procedures.
Mike Ambrose, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) said: “Forcing small airlines to adopt reporting procedures that demand a level of precision many dimensions different from the inexactness of climate change science is absurd. If the European Commission and European Parliament members had listened to the industry when the scheme was drafted, such a ridiculous situation would have been avoided.
“Earlier this month, David Cameron urged the EU to cut its bureaucracy. If the UK government fails to act to cut through this wasteful red tape, it will be passengers who will continue to fund this needless bureaucracy,” Mr Ambrose concluded.