Written by Fly Corporate Friday, 30 March 2012 01:00
"The companies of all sizes that rely on business aviation are unified with the rest of the aviation community in our alarm over the proposed scheme," said Leo McStravick, Senior Flight Operations Technical Specialist with Gulfstream, who testified before the subcommittee on the industry's behalf. "The proposal is unfair, intrusive, administratively burdensome and fails any reasonable cost-benefit test for the environment.
In addition to imposing a costly administrative burden on businesses flying from the US to European destinations, McStravick noted that the EU's scheme is discriminatory because businesses that utilise general aviation are not eligible for carbon offsets, as they are not defined as "commercial."
McStravick pointed out that the EU-ETS also raises serious concerns about personal privacy and business confidentiality, because the scheme would require companies to provide a wealth of sensitive data, including bank account information, flight data and other disclosures, all of which would be made available to the public.
Additionally, McStravick explained, the scheme would do little to address global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, because the EU has no authority to require member states to reinvest revenues from the ETS into aviation research and development, or other emission-abatement initiatives. "In other words," McStravick said, "the EU-ETS would have anyone who flies from the US into European airspace directly subsidizing foreign governments at the expense of aviation.
"Here's the bottom line: Instead of trying to fix an approach that is this broken, we in the industry would rather return to the appropriate, internationally driven process for addressing aviation emissions," McStravick concluded.
He said US business aviation has a long-standing commitment to further reducing its already-small environmental footprint, with continuous improvements in fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Like others in the aviation industry, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is a committed member of a worldwide aviation coalition that has brought an aggressive proposal to further address aviation GHG emissions to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the appropriate body to establish such standards for global civil aviation.
NBAA has joined with 15 other organisations representing the spectrum of the US aviation and travel industries in strenuously opposing the application of the EU-ETS on US airlines and general aviation, and supporting the objections of the US government as a matter of international law and US sovereignty.
Congress has repeatedly expressed its concern over the EU-ETS.
In October of last year, the House passed H.R. 2594, "The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011," which would prohibit all flights originating in the US from participating in the scheme, and would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to take every step possible to ensure flight operators are not penalised by the programme. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate last year.