The government is being urged to review the controversial EU Emissions Trading Scheme’s reporting process and procedures.
The call comes from the chairman of UK regional carrier Eastern Airways and is supported by the head of the European Regional Airline Association.
Eastern chairman Bryan Huxford said: “The ETS, implemented by Brussels earlier this year, is good in theory but, for Europe’s smaller carriers, is a disaster in practice.
“I find it unbelievable that the scheme results in the cost of administration equalling or exceeding the cost of compliance for smaller airlines.”
Huxford added: “The high price of fuel already gives us the strongest possible incentive to be as fuel efficient as possible without the imposition of ETS.”
He has written to the government and the Civil Aviation Authority, calling for an immediate alleviation of the costs by using simpler and more rational reporting procedures.
“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,” said Huxford.
“However, the ETS for aviation, implemented by the European Community is far from being in the interests of Eastern Airways’ customers.”
The airline’s main concern is that 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,” Huxford added.
ERA director general Mike Ambrose 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.”
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