Climate change in the European Union
The trade unions association that planned and then called off a Europe-wide ATC strike last October has scheduled a new job action on January 29 to express its displeasure with proposed amendments to Single European Sky (SES) legislation. The new strike planned by the Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) will dovetail with another job action the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) plans the following day.
Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Center last week introduced a system to dynamically manage upper airspace to suit traffic flow. The new variable division flight level (VDFL) enables a flexible distribution of traffic between upper and lower sectors (from 24,500 feet to unlimited), by altering the division flight level to match changing traffic patterns. The division flight level between the upper and lower sectors was previously fixed at 33,500 feet.
The European Commission is proposing amendments to its existing emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) that would confirm the continued exemption from the cap-and-trade system for flights outside the airspace of the 28 European Union member states, as well as European economic area states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
All aviation eyes were turned toward Montreal early this month as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) tries to get its arms around a worldwide plan to control jet aircraft emissions.
The big question is whether ICAO’s 191 member states can agree on a plan to curb emissions to the satisfaction of the European Union (EU), which has unilaterally crafted its own emissions trading scheme (ETS) that would capture not only EU aircraft, but also airplanes flying into, out of and through the 28 EU member states.
Responding to member feedback, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has clarified the organization’s position on any potential aircraft emissions deals under consideration at the two-week-long, triennial ICAO assembly that started yesterday. Earlier this week, NBAA said it welcomed signs that a proposal under consideration at ICAO might lead to a global compromise solution to addressing aircraft carbon emissions.
Jet Aviation expanded its management support service offerings to help aircraft owners and operators comply with the upcoming April 30 deadline for emissions allowances under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. All operators that are required to surrender emission allowances must open a union registry account in their appointed member state and submit the allowances by the deadline or face penalties. Jet Aviation is providing union registry account opening and administration services to help operators comply with the regulations and avoid non-compliance fines.
The new director general of Europe’s intergovernmental ATC organization proposes that air navigation service providers (ANSPs) implement Single European Sky improvements at the regional level rather than as individual entities, both to constrain costs and improve operational efficiency.
ETS is still in full force for all flights between airports in the 27 European Union states, and also in the so-called European Economic Area (also including Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) as well as Switzerland and Croatia. The European Commission has made it clear that non-European operators will still be required to complete the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) process for carbon dioxide emissions from intra-European flights. They will also be required to submit carbon credits covering these emissions. Legal opinion seems to be in agreement that the new U.S.
President Barack Obama closed the legislative loop on U.S. refusal to comply with the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on November 27, when he signed S.1956, legislation that orders the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the carbon tax plan. The legislation also calls for the government “to conduct international negotiations to pursue a worldwide approach to address aircraft emissions.”
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