EU-ETS Has Arrived

March 31, 2011 is a day that has created both fear and confusion among Business Aviation operators as it approaches. That’s because, for most Member States of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), it marks the deadline for emissions reporting for all trips into, out of, and between EU Member States in 2010. (The deadline for a select group of Member States was even earlier.)

AvBuyer  |  01st January 2011
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Finish line for Year One in view.

March 31, 2011 is a day that has created both fear and confusion among Business Aviation operators as it approaches. That’s because, for most Member States of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), it marks the deadline for emissions reporting for all trips into, out of, and between EU Member States in 2010. (The deadline for a select group of Member States was even earlier.)

Now just a matter of days from the Year One deadline, World Aircraft Sales Magazine checked in with Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Supervisor of Regulatory Services Adam Hartley for an update on the latest EU-ETS information, and some tips for operators still scrambling to comply.

WAS: So what are you hearing from operators about the upcoming deadline? Are most prepared, or are there still many who are not close to meeting the requirements for Year One?

Hartley: The calls I receive still run the gamut from those operators who have already completed the process and found it quite easy (they just want to confirm they are done), to those who have not even identified their Member State. I will say that at this point, nearly everyone has at least heard of EU-ETS and the directive, which was not the case as recently as a few months ago.

An operator who is reading this today and has not yet completed that step will more than likely not meet this first deadline. I don’t say that to scare anyone, but the reality is that it’s probably too late in the game to meet the March 31 timeframe.

So what does that mean, and what should those operators do? The most important thing is to identify your Member State, which you can do by visiting, and then reach out to it as an act of good faith. By doing this you can properly set a timeline for compliance.

WAS: For operators still waiting to be assigned to a Member State, when is the next operator list published?

Hartley: As of February 2, 2011, the latest European Commission List of Operators was provided and can be viewed at This should ensure that most operators now have a Member State, although there may be a few individuals still improperly assigned. One reason for this is that many operators were incorrectly filed under the name of the service provider that filed their flight plans. At one time, there were 1,500-plus operators incorrectly assigned to Universal. Even today, Universal has more than 100 operators and 500-plus legs incorrectly listed under its name, because we filed the flight plans with EuroControl.

It’s taken the European Commission quite a while to sort through this, and produce an accurate list to assign those operators a Member State. This will continue as an ongoing process.

WAS: What actually needs to be submitted to an operator’s Member State by the deadline?

Hartley: The directive requires an operator to submit a verified historical report of all flights to, from and within EU Member states during 2010.

This report must be verified by a third party that is accredited in the operator’s Member State. A list of approved verifiers for a variety of different Member States can be found at

WAS: Are there different deadlines for Member States?

Hartley: Yes. The majority of Member States, including the UK, France, Ireland and Germany (among others), are all requiring submission by the directive stated deadline of March 31, 2011.

Some Member States have chosen to move their submission dates forward, though. For example, Spain required submission by February 28, 2011, and Czech Republic by March 15, 2011, just to name a few. It’s important to check with your specific Member State to confirm its requirement.

WAS: How should operators produce an annual emissions report?

Hartley: An operator should collect all historical flights for 2010 to, from and within EU Member states along with any data available to validate those legs. Copies of flight plans, log books and scheduling software reports would suffice. This information can be applied to a generic reporting template available at Member States have a variety of processes for reporting. Operators should contact their Member State to ensure the proper template and method is being used.

WAS: When reporting emissions for 2010, should operators use the Small Emitters tool?

Hartley: While it’s true that the Small Emitters Tool has been proven to be inaccurate for many aircraft types at this point, EU-ETS for aviation is currently reporting for 2010 and monitoring 2011 both of which are pre-trading periods. This means that although the Small Emitters CO2 estimate may be inaccurate, operators are not buying credits this year or next based on these estimates.

Going forward, evaluating whether or not to use this tool will be based on EuroControl’s ability to increase the tool’s accuracy through data provided by operators and OEMs.

WAS: Do all operators have to get their reports verified?

Hartley: Although associations like the National Business Aviation Association and the European Business Aviation Association have worked feverishly to try and reduce the burdensome requirements of EU-ETS such as Third Party Verification, the Directive that was adopted by the EU Member States and implemented currently still requires verification. Even operators using the Small Emitter

Tool provided by Eurocontrol for fuel consumption estimations will still have to receive a Certificate of Verification to send with the completed report to their Member State prior to the posted deadline. While the vast majority of Member States are requiring independent Third Party Verification, Belgium is providing verification directly through its environmental agency.

WAS: Will historical data and records produced by Eurocontrol’s ETS Support Facility take the place of verification?

Hartley: No, definitely not for 2010. The ETS Support Facility will be used initially as a required source of validating data (i.e. Nav fee receipts) that operators must provide to their Third Party Verifier. The different Environmental Authorities in Member States will also use this data to cross-check verified reports that have been submitted by operators.

The ETS Support Facility’s role in ETS reporting will assuredly continue to expand in future monitoring years, but currently does not relieve the reporting or verification requirements of operators both large and small. If an operator can produce copies of their Nav fee receipts and EuroControl records through other means, they can avoid the restrictive 400 Euro annual cost of using the ETS Support Facility.

WAS: How would an operator know if a verifier is approved for their Member State?

Hartley: Some Member States have released specific lists of Third Party Verifiers that have gained EU-ETS for Aviation Activities accreditation in their country. Other Member States have chosen to approve verification companies that hold accreditation in their home Member State. The most prevalent example of this is the multitude of countries accepting UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited verifiers for the reporting process.

WAS: Assuming an operator has received many advertisements, how should it choose an accredited Third Party Verifier?

Hartley: The verification market for EU-ETS can be a tough one to navigate. It’s important to talk to more than one verifier and have them explain their background and processes prior to making a commitment. With issues such as possible site visits at the operator’s cost being left up to the verifier in many cases, it is important to have a
level of trust and understanding with your selected verifier.

Relying on your trip support service company for a recommendation would be a great place to start.

Universal Supervisor of Regulatory Services Adam Hartley has established himself as one of the industry’s top experts at helping operators comply with complicated and often unclear regulations. His expertise has earned him invitations to speak both domestically and internationally at major industry events and conferences held by the NBAA, Boeing Business Jets, Bombardier, CTA-FOS, and other regional business aviation associations.


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