Al-Ahram Weekly Online   13 - 19 October 2011
Issue No. 1068
Sky High
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

IATA versus Europe

The IATA says it challenges Europe's emission trading scheme

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International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed its disappointment in the opinion of the advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which did not support the air transport industry's challenge to Europe's plan to include international aviation in its emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS) from 2012. A final decision is expected later this year.

The advocate general of the CJEU believes that Europe is within its rights to move forward with this extra-territorial measure. However, the international community does not share that opinion, as many governments showed concerns about the infringements on sovereignty and the Chicago Convention that Europe's plans pose. Two weeks ago, more than 20 states -- including India, China, Japan, the US, and Russia signed a declaration vowing to challenge the plan's extra-territoriality at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The aviation industry has ambitious environmental targets: to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent annually to 2020, to cap net emissions from 2020 and to cut net emissions in half by 2050.

On the other hand, IATA last week warned against another blow to European competitiveness as air traffic management improvement went off course.

According to the latest independent Performance Review Body (PRB) report and the draft recommendations from the European Commission, states are falling behind in their legislated commitments to deliver improvements in operational, financial and environmental efficiency.

air navigation service providers (ANSP) are capable of. And we are ready to help drive efficiency further. But it is the responsibility of states to ensure that their ANSPs are delivering what is needed," said Tyler.

The PRB report shows that 21 of 29 European states failed to make adequate contributions to the cost-efficiency target. According to the PRB report, the 10 air navigation service providers who are contributing least to the cost reduction targets are Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Spain (continental), the United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Finland.

The total shortfall is 2.4 per cent according to the PRB, which will equate to a total cost of 256 million euros of unrealised savings for 2012-2014.

The performance improvement targets are an integral part of the Single European Sky Package II (SES II) approved by the European Union's Transport Council in March 2009. "The SES cost-efficiency objective is a 50 per cent reduction in air traffic management costs by 2020. The latest reports indicate that the ANSPs are hardly achieving cost containment, let alone the needed reductions," said Tyler. Alongside improving cost efficiency, SES aims to increase airspace capacity by over 70 per cent, improve the safety record by a factor of 10 and reduce the effects of air transport on the environment by 10 per cent.

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