Washington, DC, December 9, 2011 – Members of a coalition including nearly all segments of aviation are calling on U.S. senators to back legislation introduced yesterday by Senator John Thune (R-SD), which would prohibit operators of all U.S. aircraft from participating in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS).
A letter supporting the bill, S.1956, was sent by a coalition including the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and 14 other organizations representing aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers and others. The EU-ETS, which would impose a new tax on carbon emissions from aircraft, is scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2012.
In its letter, the coalition predicts that the program will cost U.S. operators billions of dollars in money that will likely subsidize European governments. The group goes on to point out that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted its own plan to address aircraft carbon emissions in September. By doing so, ICAO recognized that unilateral emissions trading programs such as EU-ETS undermine efforts to develop a global approach for emissions from aviation, a global industry.
The letter also notes that the aviation industry itself has set well-defined goals for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions that will produce a 1.5 percent increase in fuel efficiency by 2020 as well as a 50-percent reduction in emissions by 2050.
The EU-ETS taxes aircraft emissions from operations to and within Europe based on the distance flown over a flight’s entire route, no matter its origin. For instance, a flight from the U.S. to London would be taxed for all portions of the mission, not just the portion in EU airspace.
“In reality, the EU-ETS will increase costs in the industry significantly, which will reduce consumer demand, and will hamper airlines’ and other operators’ ability to invest in research and development and in new aircraft and equipment,” the coalition’s letter says.
The senate proposal follows passage of the “European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011,” passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives in October. Like the senate measure, the one passed by the House prohibits all U.S. airlines and general aviation flight operators from participating in the EU-ETS if it is unilaterally imposed on them. It also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to do everything possible to ensure flight operators are not penalized by the program.
“This scheme violates U.S. sovereignty, international law and the Chicago Convention,” the coalition’s letter states. “We urge you to support this important legislation to protect American jobs and to send the message to the EU that the U.S. government will not tolerate violations of its sovereignty and will ensure the EU-ETS does not apply to US aviation.”
Along with NBAA, the coalition that authored the letter is comprised of the Aerospace Industries Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Airlines for America, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Cargo Airline Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Global Business Travel Association, the International Air Transport Association, the Interactive Travel Services Association, the National Air Carrier Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the Regional Airline Association and the U.S. Travel Association.
For additional background information on the issue, visit NBAA’s EU-ETS resource page.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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